Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin’s plane landed in Belarus on June 27, the Belarusian Hajun monitoring group reported on Telegram.
Prigozhin’s business jet (registration No. RA-02795) landed at the Machulishchy military airfield outside Minsk at 7:40 a.m.
Prigozhin announced the beginning of an armed conflict with the Russian Defense Ministry on the evening of June 23, claiming that he wanted to “restore justice” in Russia.
He said that the Russian army struck the mercenaries’ “rear camp.” However, the conflict between Prigozhin and Shoigu had started months earlier.
For the past few months, the Wagner leader has been persistently demanding the resignation of the Russian defense minister, accusing him of poor management of the Russian armed forces and of not supplying enough ammunition to Wagner forces.
The next day, Wagner forces seized control over the main military facilities in the cities of Rostov-on-Don and Voronezh. They also shot down seven Russian Air Force aircraft.
Prigozhin then demanded meetings with Russia’s top military leadership and threatened to “advance towards Moscow” in a video address shot in Rostov-on-Don.
Putin, in turn, posted a video address saying that the Russian Armed Forces had ordered to eliminate those who led the “rebellion”.
The Wagnerites’ convoys nevertheless moved towards Moscow in a “march for justice,” as Prigozhin called it.
The FSB charged Prigozhin with “inciting insurrection,” while the security forces were preparing to defend Moscow.
Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko held talks with Prigozhin as his mercenaries closed in on Moscow, Lukashenko’s press office stated, culminating in a deal where Prigozhin agreed to halt his forces’ advance on the Russian capital – in exchange for dropping charges and changes at the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Soon after, Prigozhin ordered Wagner mercenaries to turn back from Moscow and return to their combat positions.