Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 488

  • Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and his mercenaries pulled out of the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don and the region of Voronezh after a deal was mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to end their short-lived armed mutiny.
  • Under the agreement, the Wagner soldiers who took part in the rebellion will not be prosecuted and Prigozhin will go into exile in Belarus.
  • Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Sunday morning, according to Belarus’s Belta news agency. The two men spoke at least twice on Saturday.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his defence minister said they held a series of calls with key allies including the United States to discuss Putin’s “weakness” and Ukraine’s next counteroffensive steps.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the short-lived revolt against the Kremlin exposed “real cracks” in Putin’s authority.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said the revolt revealed “divisions” within the Russian leadership and exposed the “fragility of its military and auxiliary forces”.
  • In China’s first official remarks on the rebellion, the foreign ministry said Beijing supported Russia in “protecting national stability”, adding that the issue was Russia’s “internal affair”.
  • Speaking in his nightly video address, Zelenskyy said Putin was “obviously very afraid” and probably in hiding following the short-lived rebellion.
  • The Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank, said the Kremlin has been left in a “deeply unstable” situation and that Lukashenko’s direct role in halting Wagner’s advance was “humiliating to Putin”.

Fighting

Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s eastern military command, said Kyiv’s army advanced 600 metres (2,000 ft) to 1,000 metres (3,281 feet) over the previous day near Bakhmut, a city taken by Wagner forces in May after months of fighting.

Russia’s defence ministry said it repelled multiple new offensives by Ukrainian forces in four areas on the front line in eastern Ukraine, including 10 attacks near Bakhmut alone.

Putin told state television he was in constant contact with the defence ministry and that Russia remained confident in realising its plans related to what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the death toll from a Russian missile attack on Ukraine’s capital on Friday night had risen to five after two more bodies were found in a badly-damaged high-rise building.