Russian media: Boss Wagner continues to be criminally investigated

Russian media said that Russia has not dropped the criminal investigation into the owner of the private military company Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin after the riots by this force over the weekend.

Some Russian news sites, including RIA Novosti, Kommersant, on June 26, citing a source from the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, said that Moscow has not canceled the criminal investigation against Mr. Prigozhin related to organizational activities. riot last weekend.

“As of the morning of June 26, the criminal case related to the organization of an armed rebellion (according to clause 279 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), the main defendant is the boss Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin, has not been closed. Employees of the Russian Federal Security Service are continuing to investigate,” the source said.

Russian officials have not yet commented on the information.

On June 23, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced the opening of a criminal investigation into Prigozhin, accusing him of instigating an armed rebellion.

However, a day later, the Kremlin said that the Russian government and Wagner had reached an agreement to de-escalate tensions. Accordingly, Wagner agreed to stop the march to Moscow and bring the forces back to base. Mr. Prigozhin also accepted a move to Belarus. In return, Russia pledged to drop the criminal investigation of Prigozhin, guarantee his safety and a number of other concessions.

The last time Prigozhin appeared in public was on the evening of June 24 when Wagner withdrew his forces from a Russian military facility in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don. At the time, he did not comment on the deal to move to Belarus.

Wagner is a force that plays an important role in Russia’s military operations in eastern Ukraine, especially in the Bakhmut battlefield.

However, the relationship between Wagner and the Russian military has become strained recently when Wagner said that Moscow did not provide enough weapons and ammunition, causing them a great loss of manpower. Tensions escalated over the weekend when the Russian military was accused of launching missile attacks on Wagner units.

Mr. Prigozhin brought 25,000 Wagner soldiers from the Ukrainian battlefield on a journey “for justice”. The force occupied Russian military installations in Rostov-on-Don and continued on toward Moscow before turning back to base as agreed at the last minute.

After this incident, the chairman of the Russian lower house of Parliament’s defense committee Andrey Kartapolov said the committee was drafting a bill on controlling the activities of private military companies. The official said that it is too early to discuss Wagner’s prospects after recent developments.

The Kremlin said on June 24 that the Russian military was open to signing a contract with Wagner soldiers unrelated to the rebellion. Earlier, tycoon Prigozhin announced that no member of Wagner would sign a contract with or be controlled by the Russian Defense Ministry.

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