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Column of Wagner fighters leaves Rostov-on-Don, says governor

According to the governor of the Rostov region Vasily Golubev, the fighters and equipment went to field camps

ROSTOV-ON-DON, June 25. /TASS/. The column of military equipment and PMC Wagner fighters left Rostov-on-Don on Saturday night, Vasily Golubev, governor of the southern Russian region, reported on his Telegram channel.

"The column of PMC Wagner fighters has left Rostov[-on-Don] and is headed toward their field camps," he reported.

On the evening of June 23, several audio recordings were posted on Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Telegram channel. He particularly claimed that his units had come under attack, which he blamed on the country’s military authorities. The Federal Security Service (FSB) launched a criminal probe into calls for armed mutiny. The Russian Defense Ministry slammed the allegations of a strike on the PMC Wagners "rear camps" as fake news. On Saturday morning, armed people in military uniform as well as military equipment appeared on the streets of central Rostov-on-Don.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday, described the Wagner group’s actions as armed mutiny and betrayal, vowing to take tough measures against the mutineers.

Later on Saturday, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, in coordination with Putin, held talks with Prigozhin working out a de-escalation plan. Later, Prigozhin said that the Wagner PMC was halting the movement of its convoys, turning them around and returning to field camps. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a criminal case against the Wagner chief would be dropped, while Prigozhin himself would go to Belarus.