Moscow, June 27 (EFE).- Russia’s FSB security service Tuesday dropped a criminal case against Wagner private military group after the mercenaries launched an armed mutiny that halted in less than 24 hours over the weekend.
An FSB statement said the security service’s investigative department found that the Wagner fighters “stopped actions directly aimed at committing a crime.”
“Taking into account this and other circumstances relevant to the investigation, the investigating authority issued a decision to close the criminal case,” said the statement quoted by the state-run Sputnik news.
The FSB specified that the case was archived on Tuesday. The charge carried a sentence of between 12 and 20 years in prison.
Russian prosecutors opened the case on Friday night when Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and his fighters declared they had crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border in the southern region of Rostov.
They said it was a “march for justice” toward Moscow after accusing the Russian Army of an attack on their camp.
Prigozhin said his battle was against Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov, the commander of Russia’s invasion forces.
However, he ordered his warriors to return to their bases on Sunday after the lightning mutiny that came to a dramatic halt just minutes before Wagner’s forces were about to march into the capital city.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reportedly negotiated with Prigozhin to halt Wagner’s march.
According to Belarusian media, on Tuesday, Prigozhin’s private plane, which had been missing since Saturday night, landed at an airstrip on the outskirts of Minsk.
Meanwhile, the Russian defense ministry said Tuesday the private military group was ready to hand over heavy equipment to the armed forces.
“Preparations are underway for the transfer of heavy military equipment from the Wagner PMC to the active units of the Russian military,” a ministry statement said. EFE