The end of the Wagner mutiny has tightened Putin’s grip on Belarus – but Lukashenko won’t care

Having proved his worth as a vassal to the Russian leader, the Belarusian president is in a more secure position than he has been for years, writes Kim Sengupta

Tuesday 27 June 2023 18:03 BST
<p>Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko</p>

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko

The talks between the two men were “very difficult”. “They immediately blurted out such vulgar things it would make any mother cry. The conversation was hard, and as I was told, masculine.”

Vadim Gigin, a Belarusian propagandist, was describing the negotiations between his country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, and Yevgeny Prigozhin, which brought the extraordinary attempted coup in Russia to an end after a tumultuous 24 hours.

The deal they reached, under whose terms the Kremlin agreed to drop criminal charges against Prigozhin and the members of his Wagner mercenary group who took part in the rebellion, averted a catastrophic civil war and, arguably, may have saved Vladimir Putin from being overthrown.

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