Prigozhin reappears and breaks his silence: the aim of his rebellion was "to save Wagner"

The leader of the private military company assures that the organization will be dissolved on July 1.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, spoke out Monday for the first time since agreeing with Russian government authorities to end his coup last weekend. Prigozhin assured that his intention was not to overthrow power in the Kremlin, nor to start a civil war, but "to prevent Wagner's demise."

Prigozhin, who ordered his mercenaries to march towards Moscow this Saturday, demanded they come to a halt just 125 miles from the Russian capital and was able to reach an agreement with Putin's government. Wagner's leader called for the dismissal of the top leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the Defense General Staff. The Kremlin promised him that they wouldn't file charges against him or his collaborators.

However, there were reports in the Russian press on Monday that do not seem to support this agreement. Putin would not keep his promise. Minister Shoigu would remain at the reins of the defense portfolio, and the Russian prosecutor's office would maintain the charges of rebellion against Prigozhin, who went into exile in Belarus.

According to Prigozhin, Wagner's groups will dissolve on July 1. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Wagner's troops have until that date to sign contracts with the Russian government and join the Army. According to statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Wagner's mercenaries will not be withdrawn from Africa.

Tensions have been high between Wagner and the Russian Defense Ministry for months over the strategy applied on the Ukrainian front. In several public videos, Prigozhin criticized Minister Shoigu and the head of State Mayo, Valery Gerasimov. Tensions reached a breaking point this Saturday. The exact whereabouts of the mercenary leader are unknown at this time.

Prigozhin's action did not result in a substantial shift in Russian power, but it did chip away at the authority of Putin's government, which for a few hours was on the verge of civil conflict and demise.