- President Vladimir Putin thanks Russia’s army and security services for stopping a civil war from breaking out at the weekend when faced with a mutiny by Wagner Group mercenaries heading towards Moscow.
- Despite the gravity of the incident, Russia drops the criminal case against Wagner and says the group will transfer its heavy weapons to Moscow’s forces.
- At least two people are killed in Russian attacks in the Zaporizhia and Donetsk regions, according to Ukrainian officials.
- Pope Francis’s peace envoy for Ukraine, Matteo Zuppi, will visit Moscow on June 28-29 “to encourage gestures of humanity”, the Vatican says.
‘Those loyal to Putin will remain in their posts’: Journalist in Moscow tells AJ
Journalist Yulia Shapovalova, in Moscow, told Al Jazeera that Russian President Vladimir Putin would leave “all those reliable and loyal to him” in their posts, after military bloggers anticipated that the Wagner rebellion over the weekend could lead to Putin changing the Russian military’s leadership.
But after seeing defence minister Sergei Shoigu and Russia’s chief of staff Valery Gerasimov present while Putin addressed the military in the Kremlin complex earlier today, Shapobalova said “there was disappointment amongst military bloggers”.
Head of Russian National Guard says Wagner mutiny was inspired by the West: RIA
The head of Russia’s National Guard Viktor Zolotov says that he doesn’t rule out the West’s involvement in the rebellion launched in Russia by the Wagner chief over the weekend, according to a report by Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.
“The rebellion was inspired by the West and superbated Prigozhin’s ambitions,” he said.
He added that the Russian national guard also had information about the Wagner revolt preparation from “Prigozhin’s circle.”
Earlier, US President Joe Biden and other European leaders ruled out being involved in the Wagner uprising and said it was Russia’s “internal affair”.
What is Lukashenko gaining from helping quell the Wagner Group?
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko emerged as the “mediator” between the Kremlin and Prigozhin over the weekend after the Wagner Group chief attempted a rebellion in Russia.
Lukashenko brokered a deal between Prigozhin and the Kremlin and helped de-escalate the revolt. But what has he gained from it?
Putin hails military for ‘stopping a civil war’
Putin hails Russia’s military and law enforcement for “stopping a civil war”, referring to the Wagner Group’s weekend mutiny.
“The army and people were not on the side of the mutineers,” Putin said.
The president addressed military officers assembled in a square inside the Kremlin complex in the presence of Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu. Putin also held a minute of silence to honour the Russian soldiers who were killed during the uprising.
He added that Moscow was not forced to withdraw its troops from Ukraine to fight the mutiny in Russia.
Putin talks with Saudi crown prince by phone: RIA
Putin has had a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, according to a report from Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti, which cited the Kremlin.
The prince expressed support for measures taken by Putin to end a mutiny by mercenary fighters over the weekend.
Watch: Ukraine’s Zelenskyy visits troops on the front lines
Pope Francis’s peace envoy to visit Moscow: Vatican
Pope Francis’s peace envoy for Ukraine, Matteo Zuppi, will visit Moscow on June 28-29, the Vatican says in a statement.
“The main purpose of the initiative is to encourage gestures of humanity, which can contribute to facilitating a solution to the current tragic situation and find ways to achieve a just peace,” the Vatican said.
‘Still no grounds for peace talks with Ukraine’: Kremlin
The Kremlin says it still sees no grounds for peace talks with Ukraine.
Asked about a German media report that talks could begin in July, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that at the moment there are no signs of any of the prerequisites needed for such talks to take place.
Kyiv has said it will not negotiate with Moscow until the last Russian soldier has left Ukraine.
Kremlin says Putin to address soldiers who helped tackle Wagner mutiny
Kremlin spokesperson Dimitry Peskov tells reporters that Putin is to address members of the Russian military, national guard, security forces and others who helped to uphold order during Saturday’s mutiny by mercenary fighters.
Peskov added that Putin would also speak to heads of Russian media outlets.
Lukashenko says ‘the West’ will take advantage of turmoil in Russia and Belarus
During a speech in the Belarusian capital Minsk, the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko said that the “collapse of Russia as a state would lead to catastrophe”, according to a report by the Russian state news agency TASS.
Referring to the Wagner Group’s short-lived rebellion in Russia over the weekend, he added that Russia collapsing would mean that “everyone will remain under the rubble”.
He added that “the West would instantly take advantage of the turmoil if it started in Belarus and Russia”.“The worst thing is that if there were turmoil, the West would instantly take advantage of it,” Lukashenko said at the ceremony of presenting generals’ epaulettes to employees of law enforcement agencies.
Lukashenko says it was ‘painful’ to watch the events in Russia: TASS
Lukashenko says it was “painful” for him to watch the armed uprising instigated by the Wagner mercenary in Russia over the weekend, according to a report by Russia’s state news agency TASS.
In a speech during a ceremony in Minsk, the Belarusian president said: “I won’t hide it, it was painful to watch the events that took place in the south of Russia. Not only for me. Many of our citizens took them to heart. Because the Fatherland is one.”
He added that all the armed forces in Belarus including the police and special forces were put on “full combat readiness” after what happened in Russia.
“History remembers: Belarusians know how to defend their land. We have been and will be stronger than any challenges,” Lukashenko said.
Jet linked to Wagner chief Prigozhin arrives in Belarus
A jet linked to the Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has arrived in Belarus, believed to be carrying him to exile.
According to a report by the Reuters news agency, flight tracking website Flightradar24 showed an Embraer Legacy 600, bearing identification codes that match a plane linked to Prigozhin in US sanctions documents, descending to landing altitude near the Belarus capital, Minsk.
It first appeared on the tracking site above Rostov, the southern Russian city Prigozhin’s fighters captured on Saturday.
The Wagner chief signed a deal brokered by the Kremlin to withdraw his troops from Russia after attempting to launch a rebellion in the country over the weekend. He said he would go to Belarus at the invitation of President Alexander Lukashenko.
UK says Ukraine ‘likely recaptured’ territories occupied by Russia
UK’s defence ministry says Ukrainian airborne forces have made small advances in the east from the village of Krasnohorivka, near Donetsk city, which sits on the old line of control.
“This is one of the first instances since Russia’s February 2022 invasion that Ukrainian forces have highly likely recaptured an area of territory occupied by Russia since 2014,” the ministry said in a tweet.
Ukraine says Russian attacks killed two civilians
Two people have been killed in the Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhia and Donetsk, according to local authorities.
“In the Donetsk direction, 4 streets in Krasnohorivka came under shelling, isolated shelling of Avdiivka was recorded. In the morning, Avdiivka was hit by two rockets,” Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a statement on Telegram.
“The Russians killed 1 resident of Donetsk region, wounded 1 more.”
Zaporizhia’s regional administration said the Russian military hit 15 settlements in the region, killing a resident of Orikhiv “in her own house”.
Putin confirms pilots were killed during Wagner uprising
Russian President Vladimir Putin says soldiers were killed while trying to defend the country during the Wagner Group’s short-lived uprising over the weekend.
“The courage and self-sacrifice of the fallen heroes-pilots saved Russia from tragic, devastating consequences,” Putin said in a speech on Monday night, which was also his first public appearance after the aborted Wagner rebellion.
There has been no official information about how many pilots died or how many aircraft were shot down.
Wagner to hand over its equipment to Russian defence ministry
Russia’s defence ministry says the Wagner Group is preparing to hand over all its equipment after attempting to launch a revolt in the country over the weekend.
“Preparations are underway for the transfer of PMC ‘Wagner’ heavy military equipment to the active units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,” the ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging application.
Russia drops criminal case against Wagner Group
Russia’s Federal Security Service says it is dropping a criminal case against the Wagner Group related to the mercenary’s attempted rebellion in the country over the weekend, according to local media reports.
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti says the case was dropped because “the participants had ceased actions directly aimed at committing the crime”.