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Putin Vows to Bring Wagner Group Rebels to Justice for 'Their Tragic Mistake'

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Source: mega

Jun. 26 2023, Published 4:55 p.m. ET

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, 70, vowed that the Wagner Group mercenaries who attempted a military coup would be "brought to justice," RadarOnline.com has learned.

Over the weekend, Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, 62, called on his soldiers from Putin's de-facto army to turn away from the Ukrainian front lines and march to Moscow in protest of the Kremlin's military leadership.

Hours later, Prigozhin called his men off claiming his decision was made to avoid "bloodshed."

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Source: mega

Putin addressed Russia in a state television broadcast on Monday.

The 70-year-old leader branded Prigozhin's demonstration a "criminal activity" that was "aimed at weakening the country."

In his address, Putin vowed that the "organizers" of the "rebellion" would be "brought to justice."

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Putin's scathing address continued with a warning that "any kind of blackmail is doomed to failure," as he claimed the Wagner Group organizers "wanted our society to be fragmented."

As he condemned Prigozhin and the mercenaries' actions, the Kremlin leaded praised Russian citizens for their "support, patriotism and solidarity" over the weekend, as the country braced for a civil war.

"Virtually the entirety of Russian society... was united by its responsibility to defend their homeland," Putin told viewers.

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As Putin thanked the Russian people, he also extended gratitude to Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, who Putin claimed helped facilitate a peaceful resolution.

Prigozhin was believed to be exiled to Belarus after his Moscow "march for justice."

In an unlikely move, Putin extended an offer to Prigozhin's men, as he thanked them for being "devoted to their people and state."

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"Today you have the opportunity to continue serving Russia by entering into a contract with the Ministry of Defense or other law enforcement agencies, or to return to your family and friends," Putin told the Wagner mercenaries.

"Whoever wants to can go to Belarus," Putin continued. "The choice is yours, but I am sure it will be the choice of Russian soldiers who have realized their tragic mistake."

Branding the mercenaries "patriots" that were merely "used" by Prigozhin, Putin addressed Wagner officials who "took the right decision to stop and go back to prevent bloodshed."

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