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Belarus Prez says Prigozhin, who led rebellion in Russia, is in his country

Russian authorities said on Tuesday they have closed a criminal investigation into the aborted armed rebellion led by mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and are pressing no charges against

Yevgeny Prigozhin

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group military company (Photo: AP)

AP Belarus

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed on Tuesday that Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the mercenary group Wagner, has arrived in Belarus after a short-lived armed mutiny in Russia.
Prigozhin's exile in Belarus had been announced by the Kremlin earlier as part of the deal that ended the rebellion.
Lukashenko on Tuesday said Prigozhin has moved to Belarus and he and some of his troops would be welcome to stay in Belarus for some time at their own expense.
Russian authorities said on Tuesday they have closed a criminal investigation into the aborted armed rebellion led by mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and are pressing no charges against him or his troops.
The Federal Security Service, or FSB, said its investigation found that those involved in the mutiny, which lasted less than 24 hours after Prigozhin declared it on Friday, ceased activities directed at committing the crime, so the case would not be pursued.
It was the latest twist in a series of stunning events that have brought the gravest threat so far to President Vladimir Putin's grip on power amid the 16-month-old war in Ukraine.
Over the weekend, the Kremlin pledged not to prosecute Prigozhin and his fighters after he stopped the revolt on Saturday, even though Putin had branded them as traitors and authorities rushed to fortify Moscow's defences as the mutineers approached the capital.
The charge of mounting an armed mutiny is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Prigozhin escaping prosecution poses a stark contrast to how the Kremlin has treated those staging anti-government protests in Russia, where many opposition figures have gotten long sentences in notoriously harsh penal colonies.
The whereabouts of Prigozhin remained a mystery on Tuesday. The Kremlin has said he would be exiled to neighbouring Belarus.
 
Putin back in control but Russia’s elite aren’t so sure
Vladimir Putin tried this week to show he was firmly in control after the dramatic attempted mutiny by mercenary commander Yevgeny Prigozhin. But among the Kremlin and business elite, many powerful players aren’t buying it. A banana republic was the phrase one used to describe the spectacle of Prigozhin leading his column of tanks and fighters to within 200 kilometers (124 miles) of Moscow and then being allowed to leave for neighboring Belarus without facing criminal charges. Another said the Russian president’s botched handling of the uprising was more of a shock than Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine last year.
(Bloomberg)

Top manager at US firm sold hi-tech in Russia

US technology company Extreme Networks said last year it had suspended all business activities in Russia to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine “living under attack.” But Reuters has found that, as the publicly-traded US firm was unwinding its Russia operations, its most senior manager in the region did not stop doing business.  The IT equipment sold in Russia is assembled in China. 
(Reuters)

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First Published: Jun 27 2023 | 9:14 PM IST

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