First, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Yevgeny Prigozhin, the boss of the private military company Wagner, following the latter’s short-lived rebellion that posed a significant threat to Putin’s rule. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov confirmed the meeting took place, but details of the discussion are unknown.
- Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner forces briefly seized control of Rostov-on-Don, a key Russian military city, and approached within 125 miles of Moscow before a deal was negotiated. The deal provided Prigozhin and his forces with amnesty and security guarantees in exchange for ending the rebellion and relocating to Belarus.
- The rebellion, which Putin termed an act of treason, was the biggest challenge to his authority since he assumed power over two decades ago.
- The June 29 meeting, the first known between Putin and the Wagner boss since the brief uprising, was reportedly held for three hours and included other Wagner commanders.
- During the meeting, Putin offered further employment and combat options to the Wagner commanders, reiterating their loyalty to Putin as the supreme commander-in-chief.
- The meeting raises further questions about the deal brokered by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, under which Prigozhin ended the rebellion. Prigozhin has since returned to Russia, and his forces are no longer in Belarus.