The office of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced at 20:30 local time on Saturday, June 24 that he had successfully negotiated an agreement with the Wagner leader, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, to “stop the movement of armed persons of the Wagner company on the territory of Russia and take further steps to de-escalate tensions.”

Russian news outlets put out similar reports.

The statement said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had briefed Lukashenko in the morning and accepted Belarus’ offer to hold, with his approval, discussions with Prigozhin, in an attempt to resolve the crisis. 

“Negotiations continued throughout the day. As a result, they came to agreements on the inadmissibility of unleashing a bloody massacre on the territory of Russia,” the statement read.

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Some 20 minutes after the announcement from Belarus, Prigozhin issued a statement of his own, as an audio message: 

“They wanted to disband Wagner. We set out on June 23 for the “March of Justice.” In a day, we marched just short of 200 km from Moscow. During this time, we have not shed a single drop of the blood of our fighters. Now is the moment when blood can be shed. Realizing all the responsibility for the fact that Russian blood will be shed, we are turning our columns around and leaving in the opposite direction, to our field camps, according to the plan.”

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