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Russia Latest: Wagner Mercenaries 'Turning Back' After Putin-Prigozhin Deal

A Russia coup attempt appears to be over. Wagner mercenaries are returning to camps after seizing a key southern city and nearing Moscow following a deal between Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The brief insurrection highlights the fragility of Putin's control. It also has implications on Russia's Ukraine war, with Ukraine mounting an offensive to reclaim seized territory.

Wagner 'Turning Back'

On Saturday afternoon, Prigozhin abruptly said that Wagner forces "are turning back."

"They were going to dismantle PMC Wagner. We came out on 23 June to the 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 according to the plan."

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said he had brokered a deal between Prigozhin and Putin that offers security guarantees for Wagner. It reportedly involves major changes to Russia's Defense Ministry.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said charges will be dropped against Prigozhin, who will move to Belarus. While officially independent, Belarus is a de facto vassal state of Russia.

Wagner forces that didn't take part in the uprising will sign contracts with the MOD.

Prigozhin had been feuding publicly with the MOD for weeks. He recently claimed the Kremlin's justifications for its Ukraine invasion were false. He never publicly stated a desire to overthrow Putin.

Hours earlier, Putin ordered the military to crush the "armed mutiny."

Wagner Mercenaries Near Moscow

Wagner mercenaries took control of Rostov-on-Don overnight. Rostov is a major Russian city and key military hub for the Ukraine war effort. Prigozhin, Wagner's billionaire leader, also sent several thousand troops in a rush toward Moscow, getting close to the capital. The vast majority of Russia's army and heavy equipment are in Ukraine.

Wagner forces shot down at least one Russian jet, and perhaps several aircraft, in their march toward Moscow.

The mercenary army appears to be returning from the Moscow push and withdrawing from Rostov.

Russia Coup Impact On Ukraine War

What does the short-lived Russia coup attempt mean for the Ukraine war? It likely weakens Russian morale and buoys Ukrainian forces. Wagner's forces, which have been heavily involved in the war, had exited Ukraine. But they could return to the fighting

The Wagner rebellion had the potential of crippling Russian supply efforts. Many supplies go through Rostov. Ukraine, helped by more-advanced Western weaponry, has been hitting big ammo and other supply depots in occupied territory in the past few weeks.

Wagner Revolt Impact On Financial Markets

A widespread Russia insurrection would have disrupted crude oil production and grain shipments. The apparent Prigozhin-Putin deal suggests negligible impact in the short run, though clearly events are still in flux. Investors will pay close attention to Dow Jones futures, crude oil prices on Sunday evening as well as the start of Asia trading on Monday.

Please follow Ed Carson on Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock market updates and more.

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