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UN Chief calls for avoiding further tensions amid events with Wagner PMC in Russia

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United Nations: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been following “with concern” the events around an attempted armed mutiny in Russia by the Wagner Group private military company (PMC), urging the sides to avoid further tensions, Guterres’ office said.

“The Secretary-General has been following with concern the developments in the Russian Federation. He is aware of the latest reports regarding steps to de-escalate tensions. He urges all concerned to continue to act responsibly and with a view to avoid further tensions,” the statement read.

On Friday, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal case for inciting armed mutiny over statements made on behalf of the head of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin. The FSB said that there was a threat of escalation on Russian territory. The Russian Defense Ministry said that social media reports of alleged Russian military strikes on PMC Wagner camps were not true.

Putin delivered a televised address to the nation on Saturday in which he described the actions of the Wagner Group PMC as an armed mutiny and treason, and promised harsh measures against the insurgents.

Later in the day, the Belarusian presidential office said that Prigozhin had accepted Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s proposal to stop the movement of Wagner troops in Russia and to take further steps to de-escalate the situation. Prigozhin later confirmed the information, saying that the Wagner troops were returning to their field camps.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Saturday evening that the criminal case against Prigozhin had been dropped and that he would leave for Belarus under guarantees given by Putin.

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