Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group, has reportedly made an audio statement in which he claims that his attempt was more of a protest over attacks on his military contractor forces than a true coup attempt.
This is Prigozhin’s first statement since he unexpectedly put a stop to an armed uprising on Saturday after seeing his forces advance on Moscow from bases in southern Russia.
Prigozhin made no mention of his whereabouts or his current goals.
He consented to relocate to Belarus, according to the Kremlin, as part of a deescalation agreement.
According to Prigozhin, the goal of his aborted revolt was to force the resignation of Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defense minister.
The Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee launched a criminal inquiry against Prigozhin before he aborted what was perceived as an attempted coup.
[READ MORE: U.S. Deep State Agencies Knew of Wagner Coup Attempt]