Private Jet Linked To Wagner Boss Lands In Belarus Following Mutiny In Russia

Private Jet Linked To Wagner Boss Lands In Belarus Following Mutiny In Russia

A plane belonging to Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group landed at a military airfield some 20 kilometres from Minsk, Belarus, on Tuesday morning, according to reports.

The plane “landed at the Machulishchi military airfield near Minsk at 07:40,” said the Belarusian Hajun project, which monitors the country’s airspace.

According to data from the flight tracking website flightradar24 shared by the Hajun project, the Embraer Legacy 600 jet took off from a southwestern Russian region bordering Ukraine.

Hajun added that another Russian private jet which took off from St. Petersburg had landed at the military airfield less than 20 minutes after the Wagner plane did.

Russia’s RIA state news agency reported the authorities had dropped a criminal case against Prigozhin’s Wagner group following the aborted mutiny over the weekend, which challenged the military’s handling of the war in Ukraine.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin attempting to reassert his authority in the aftermath of the mutiny, the Kremlin said Putin would later on Tuesday address members of Russian military units, the National Guard, security forces and others who had helped to uphold order during the revolt.

Under a deal agreed late on Saturday that defused the crisis, the Kremlin said fighters who took part in the mutiny would not be prosecuted.

Prigozhin had said he would go to neighbouring Belarus at the invitation of its president, Alexander Lukashenko. But details of his proposed journey into exile were not made public.

He was last seen in public on Saturday night, smiling and high-fiving bystanders as he rode out of Rostov in the back of an SUV after ordering his men to stand down.

Putin said in an address on Monday night that the mutiny leaders had betrayed their motherland, although he did not mention Prigozhin by name. Wagner fighters would be permitted to establish themselves in Belarus, join the Russian military or go home, he said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a regular news briefing on Tuesday the deal ending the mutiny was being implemented, but said he had no information on where Prigozhin was. He also said he did not know how many Wagner fighters would sign contracts with the Defence Ministry.

He dismissed the idea that Putin’s grip on power had been shaken by the mutiny, calling such thoughts “hysteria”.


Prigozhin, 62, a former Putin ally and ex-convict whose Wagner mercenaries fought the bloodiest battles of the Ukraine war and took heavy casualties, said he launched the mutiny to save his group after being ordered to place it under the command of the defence ministry.

His fighters had halted their campaign on Saturday to avert bloodshed after nearly reaching Moscow. They had been forced to shoot down aircraft that attacked them on the way, he said.

“We went as a demonstration of protest, not to overthrow the government of the country,” Prigozhin said in an audio message on Monday.

In Putin’s overnight speech, the president’s first public comments since the mutiny, he confirmed that Russian pilots had been killed fighting against the march on Moscow. He thanked Russians for showing patriotic solidarity in the face of it.

Russia’s enemies wanted to see the country “choke in bloody civil strife” but Russia would not succumb to “any blackmail, any attempt to create internal turmoil,” Putin said.

Russian leaders have tried to convey that the situation is returning to normal after the aborted mutiny. Putin met on Monday night with the heads of security services, including Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. One of Prigozhin’s principal demands had been that Shoigu be sacked, along with Russia’s top general.

In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly address that the military had made advances on Monday in all sectors of the front line, calling it a “happy day”.

Kyiv hopes the chaos caused by the mutiny attempt in Russia will undermine Russian defences as Ukraine presses on with a counteroffensive to recapture occupied territory. It claimed on Monday to have captured a ninth village in the south where it has been advancing since early June.

Explosions were heard in the central Ukrainian central city of Kremenchuk after a Russian air strike on Tuesday, a Ukrainian air force spokesman said.

Kremenchuk is the site of a Ukrainian oil refinery that has been attacked repeatedly by Russia since it invaded Ukraine last year. Ukrainian officials have said it is no longer functioning.

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