What just happened in Russia? The Wagner crisis, explained.
June 24, 2023 at 7:08 p.m. EDT
A fast-moving crisis unfolded in Russia on Saturday as Vladimir Putin faced an apparent insurrection from a former ally, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, and the Russian mercenary fighters he leads.
For the moment, things appear to be calming down, as the forces answering to Prigozhin, the Wagner Group chief, have halted their march toward Moscow and turned around. The development came after an agreement between Prigozhin and Putin was brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. Criminal charges previously started against Prigozhin will be dropped, and the Wagner boss will go to Belarus, Peskov said.
Still, the dispute represents a significant challenge to Putin’s leadership, the potential loss of one of Putin’s most successful field commanders, and a possible shift in the course of the war in Ukraine.
Here’s a summary of what we know about the conflict.
What to know about Ukraine’s counteroffensive
The latest: The Ukrainian military has launched a long-anticipated counteroffensive against occupying Russian forces, opening a crucial phase in the war aimed at restoring Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and preserving Western support in its fight against Moscow.
The fight: Ukrainian troops on Wednesday night intensified their attacks on the front line in the southeast region, according to multiple individuals in the country’s armed forces, in a significant push toward Russian-occupied territory."