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Kremlin confirms Putin met mercenary chief Prigozhin after revolt World News

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Russian President Vladimir Putin met Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin on June 29, the Kremlin said on Monday, five days after the group’s brief insurgency March on Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (AP)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin had invited 35 people, including force commanders, to the meeting, which lasted three hours. Peskov said Wagner’s commanders told Putin they were his soldiers and would continue to fight for him.

With a brief mutiny led by Prigozhin and Wagner militants taking control of the southern city of Rostov, Putin’s grip on power faces its toughest challenge since taking over as Russia’s top leader on the last day of 1999.

The issue was resolved in a deal brokered by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko. Putin has since thanked his army and security services for avoiding chaos and civil war.

Prigorzhin said the purpose of the mutiny was not to overthrow the government, but to “bring to justice” the army and defense minister for what he said were mistakes and unprofessional behavior in Ukraine.

Under the terms of the agreement, Prigozhin was supposed to travel to Belarus, but Lukashenko said last week he had returned to Russia and the Wagner fighter had not yet accepted an offer to relocate to Belarus, raising questions about the implementation of the agreement.

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