FSB Officially Drops Charges Against Prigozhin

June 27, 2023

Russia’s Federal Security Service, FSB, said Tuesday that it was dropping charges and closing its criminal investigation into the brief uprising of Russian mercenary Wagner group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Despite a deal struck Saturday by Belarus President Aleksander Lukashenko that Prigozhin’s mercenaries would receive immunity, and that charges brought against Prigozhin himself would be dropped if they ended their revolt, Russia state media had said Monday that Prigozhin was still facing charges.

However, on Tuesday FSB said its investigation had found that those involved in the two-day rebellion “ceased activities directed at committing the crime.”

The uprising began on Friday, when Prigozhin marched his columns of mercenaries into the Russian city of Rostov near Ukraine’s front lines. Some of the 25,000 Wagner forces then began a march toward Moscow and reportedly came within striking distance of the capital city. 

It ended Saturday when the deal was struck, and according to the reported agreement Prigozhin was to leave Russia for Belarus. However, as of Tuesday morning his exact wherabouts remained unclear.

An independent Belarusian military monitoring project, called Belaruski Hajun, did say on Tuesday morning that a business jet which Prigozhin reportedly uses landed near the Belarusian capital city, Minsk.

Early Monday, Prigozhin defended his actions in an audio posting on social media. He referred to his rebellion as “the march of justice,” asserting that the uprising—which he refused to call a “coup”—was intended to be a protest against how the war in Ukraine was being undertaken by Russian military command and not aimed at regime change in Russia.

On Monday night Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed his nation, promising that the mercenary fighters who were involved in the uprising—most of whom are convicts who were freed for the purpose of fighting with Wagner—would be forgiven if they joined the regular army via the Ministry of Defense or simply “go back to their homes.”

Without mentioning Prigozhin by name, Putin added that “the organizers of this rebellion have betrayed those people who were dragged into this” uprising.

PHOTO Source: Telegram @ConcordGroup_Official

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