On Wednesday, Belarusian President made a statement saying Vladimir Putin wanted to wipe out Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin in response to his mutiny against the Russian military establishments which, as the Kremlin said, pushed Russia towards a civil war.
Alexander Lukashenko said that he persuaded Vladimir Putin not to “wipe out” mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. Terming the rebellion as a “stab in the back”, Vladimir Putin had initially vowed to crush the mutiny but later softened towards the Wagner chief, allowing him to exile in Belarus. On Tuesday, Yevgeny Prigozhin flew to Belarus from Russia.
According to the Belarusian President, in his conversation with Vladimir Putin, he said “I also understood: a brutal decision had been made [and it was the undertone of Putin’s address] to wipe out” the mutineers.” He further added, “I suggested to Putin not to rush. ‘Come on,’ I said, ‘Let’s talk with Prigozhin, with his commanders.’ To which he told me: ‘Listen, Sasha, it’s useless. He doesn’t even pick up the phone, he doesn’t want to talk to anyone’.”
There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin on Lukashenko’s remarks.
The Belarusian president also said that he advised Vladimir Putin to think “beyond our own noses”. He also told him that “wiping out” Yevgeny Prigozhin could result in revolt from his supporters. The leader then added that his own army could benefit from the experience of Wagner troops who, according to a deal struck with the Kremlin, are now free to move to Belarus.
BelTA state agency quoted Lukashenko as saying, “This is the most trained unit in the army. Who will argue with this? My military also understands this, and we don’t have such people in Belarus.”
According to inputs, Lukashenko later told his military that people fail to understand that they are approaching it in a pragmatic way. Wagner has been through it, they’ll tell them about the weaponry – what worked well and what worked badly.