| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Lukashenko says issue of relocating wagner forces not yet resolved

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday said the issue of relocating forces from Russia’s Wagner mercenary group had not yet been resolved, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

Lukashenko, who last month brokered a deal to end an armed mutiny in Russia by the Wagner force, said Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was now no longer in Belarus but back in St. Petersburg in Russia.

Lukashenko said his offer to accommodate some of Wagner’s fighters in Belarus still stood. Russia has said they can go to Belarus, sign up with its regular armed forces or demobilize.

Prigozhin took control of the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on June 24, seized the command center there where Russia coordinates its war in Ukraine, and sent a column of fighters towards Moscow before standing down after striking a deal with the Kremlin.

Russian state TV on Wednesday launched a fierce attack on Prigozhin and said an investigation into what had happened was still being vigorously pursued.

In a program called “60 Minutes” broadcast on Wednesday evening on the state Rossiya-1 TV channel, what was billed as exclusive footage shot during law enforcement raids of Prigozhin’s office in St. Petersburg and one of his estates there was shown.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat