Russian media has reported that a settlement has just been brokered between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin, with the leader of Belarus holding talks between Putin and Prigozhin.
Prigozhin and his Wagner troops have agreed to turn back, and reverse the course they were plodding toward Moscow.
The Kremlin announced Saturday that Prigozhin will leave for Belarus and there will be no criminal charges against him. A spokesman said, "We have always respected their heroic deeds at the front."
"Avoiding bloodshed, internal confrontation, and clashes with unpredictable results was the highest goal," they said.
This comes after the Wagner forces, headed by Prigozhin, were reported to be marching toward Moscow. The group also alleged that they had taken the city of Rostov in the south near the Ukrainian border.
Prigozhin released a statement on Telegram, saying:
"They were going to dismantle PMC Wagner. We began on 23 June with our March of Justice. In a day, we walked to nearly 200km away from Moscow. In this time, we did not spill a single drop of blood of our fighters. Now, the moment has come when blood may spill. That’s why, understanding the responsibility for spilling Russian blood on one of the sides, we are turning back our convoys and going back to field camps."
As the Wagner troops, a private army headed by Prigozhin, headed toward Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the armed rebellion led by his former ally.
"Last night," Putin said, "I spoke to the commander of the southern troops. This is a criminal, adventuristic campaign. It is equivalent to armed mutiny. Russia will defend itself and will repel this criminal move. We are fighting for the life and the security of our citizens, and our territorial integrity."
"This is an attempt to subvert us from inside," Putin said. "This is treason in the face of those who are fighting on the front. This is a stab in the back of our troops and the people of Russia."
There has been a long-running conflict between Wagner and the military leaders of Russia's army. In May, Prigozhin and his men took the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and later turned it over to the Russian military.
Prigozhin previously accused the Russian forces of attacking his own troops, and claimed to have control over Russian military HQ near the front lines in Ukraine in Rostov-on-Don. Video on social media showed tanks on the streets, and Prigozhin entering the compound.