Putin says Russia dodged civil war, prepares to disarm Wagner

President Vladimir Putin said Russia’s military and security services halted a slide into civil war when Wagner mercenaries rebelled and marched on Moscow, AFP reported.

As Russia announced preparations to disarm Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private force, Putin and his supporters were insisting his rule was not weakened by the revolt widely seen as the biggest threat to Kremlin authority since he came to power.

Asked whether Putin’s power was diminished by the sight of rebel mercenaries seizing a military HQ, advancing on Moscow and shooting down military aircraft along the way, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We don’t agree.”

“You de facto stopped civil war,” Putin told troops from the defence ministry, National Guard, FSB security service and interior ministry gathered for a televised address in a Kremlin courtyard and a minute’s silence for airmen slain by Wagner.

“In the confrontation with rebels, our comrades-in-arms, pilots, were killed. They did not flinch and honourably fulfilled their orders and their military duty,” Putin said.

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