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Russia President, Vladimir Putin. Photo Credit: Foreign Policy

My Orders Saved Russia From Bloodshed During Revolt, Putin Says

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Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has said that he ordered that bloodshed should be avoided during last weekend armed rebellion and offered Wagner fighters to join the army or leave the country after their mutiny.

He spoke as Moscow appeared to show a business-as-usual approach in the aftermath of the dramatic rebellion staged by Wagner that rattled his more than two-decade rule.

“From the start of the events, on my orders steps were taken to avoid large-scale bloodshed,” Putin said thanking Russians for their “endurance and unity, and patriotism”.

He said that the West and Ukraine wanted Russian soldiers to shoot at each other, two days after he warned against civil war.

 

READ ALSO: Enemy West, Ukraine Wanted Russians ‘To Kill Each Other’ Over Mutiny Says Putin

“It was precisely this fratricide that Russia’s enemies wanted: both the neo-Nazis in Kyiv and their Western patrons, and all sorts of national traitors. They wanted Russian soldiers to kill each other,” Putin said.

The longtime Russian leader warned that attempts to sow unrest in Russia, which he has ruled for more than two decades, would fail.

“Civilian solidarity showed that any blackmail, any attempts to organise internal turmoil, is doomed to fail,” he told Russians.

He accused rebelling Wagner fighters of treason and – without mentioning their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin by name- offered them to either sign contracts with the army or leave for neighbouring Belarus.

“Today you have the possibility to continue serving Russia by entering into a contract with the ministry of defence or other law enforcement agencies, or to return to your family and close ones… Whoever wants to can go to Belarus,” Putin said.

READ ALSO: Putin-Wagner Agreement: How Long Will It Last?

The 24-hour mutiny in Russia ended by a Belarus-brokered deal as Wagner fighters approached Moscow, with the Kremlin saying Prigozhin had agreed to go into exile in Belarus.

Putin then held a meeting with his top security officials over the mutiny.

The meeting included Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, a main target for rebelling Wagner fighters. It was the first time Shoigu was seen in public since the weekend mutiny.

 

AFP

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