Wagner mutiny: Bloody showdown averted but conflict not over between Putin and critics

LONDON – The armed rebellion against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government appears to have fizzled out after Yevgeny Prigozhin, the warlord in charge of the Wagner group of mercenaries who threatened to march to Moscow, called off his fighters and accepted a deal to move to neighbouring Belarus in return for a promise that he will not be prosecuted.

But although the surprising compromise averted a bloody confrontation between the Wagner mercenaries and the Russian military, the deal has severely weakened Mr Putin, revealing “real cracks” in the Russian president’s authority, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken put it, in the first American reaction to the events.