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Putin Offered Wagner to Continue Fighting in Ukraine After the Mutiny

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Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed in an interview with the Russian newspaper Kommersant that following the failed mutiny in June, he extended an offer to members of the Wagner group to continue their operations in Ukraine under the leadership of their existing commander, known as Grey. Putin disclosed that this proposition was made during a meeting in the Kremlin shortly after the mutiny took place. The President clarified that the wagnerovets, whom he had appointed, had effectively been commanding the group for the past 16 months. Additionally, Putin emphasized that Wagner’s private military company lacked legal status due to the absence of corresponding legislation governing such organizations.

During the meeting, Putin expressed several proposals to the Wagner family, one of which involved their continued involvement in Ukraine under the command of Grey, their established leader. “There would be no changes. They would follow the guidance of the individual who has been their true commander from the beginning,” Putin affirmed. However, it remains unclear whether this offer required the mercenaries to join the Russian army. Putin remarked that the group’s leader, Prigozhin, opposed such a resolution, while many Wagnerites in the Kremlin appeared to agree with Putin’s perspective.

According to the Financial Times, the person referred to as the actual leader of the Wagner group in Ukraine, as mentioned by Putin, is Andrei Troshev.

Putin further conveyed his belief that the Wagner group could not continue in its current form, underscoring the absence of legislation governing private military companies. “Without a legal framework, (the Wagner Group) cannot exist,” Putin insisted, suggesting that parliamentary action was necessary to develop the required legislation.

The mutiny occurred when members of the Wagner group rebelled against senior Russian military officers as their convoy approached Moscow in late June. However, the rebellion was quelled, and Prigozhin was given the opportunity to leave for Belarus without facing charges related to the mutiny, as confirmed by Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. Reports indicate that similar arrangements were offered to other members of the mercenary organization.

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