Mutinous mercenary group ‘will no longer participate in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine,’ head of military intelligence says.
The Wagner paramilitary group, now in disarray after an aborted mutiny forced its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin into exile in Belarus, will no longer fight in Ukraine, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence said Thursday.
“Wagner will no longer participate in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine,” Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate, told Ukrainska Pravda, without providing details about how he had obtained that information.
“And this is the most effective Russian unit, which was able to achieve success at any cost,” said Budanov.
Under Prigozhin’s leadership, the Wagner Group has been been involved in some of the bloodiest fighting of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted for the first time that the Wagner Group was funded by the Kremlin, just days after facing the biggest threat to his rule in his 23 years in power.
The private militia is now in disarray, following Prigozhin’s failed attempt at an insurrection last weekend.
Under a deal struck with the Kremlin and Belarus’ authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko, Wagner fighters involved in the rebellion would be spared prosecution, while Prigozhin would flee to Belarus, where he arrived Tuesday, according to Lukashenko.
Putin on Monday said Wagner’s mercenaries could join the Russian army or “go to Belarus,” where Lukashenko has said he was ready to welcome them.