A mercenary Russian Army fighting in Ukraine halted its march toward Moscow on Saturday, but what may have been an attempted coup has shaken Vladimir Putin’s iron grip on leadership in Russia, experts say.
“This is a significant crisis, a major inflection point, in Russian history here. There are a lot of potential implications for the stability of our current international relations,” said Steve Flynn, founding director of Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute and a professor in political science who also served on the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration.
Flynn said he predicts Putin will ultimately prevail. But the instability of the situation makes him nervous.
Later Saturday, the president of Belarus, Alexsandr G. Lukashenko, had negotiated Mr. Prigozhin’s agreement to halt his forces’ advances. According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, Russia is dropping all “armed rebellion” charges against Prigozhin, who must now go into exile in Belarus. Prigozhin’s Wagner fighters who did not take part in the rebellion will be given amnesty, and then they will sign contracts that will bring them under the control of Russia’s Ministry of Defense.