Russian mercenary leader’s exile ends revolt but leaves questions about Putin’s power

Servicemen of the Wagner Group military company sit atop of a tank, as local civilians pose for a photo prior to their leave an area at the HQ of the Southern Military District in a street in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2023. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Yevgeny Prigozhin’s troops who joined him in the uprising will not face prosecution and those who did not will be offered contracts by the Defense Ministry. After the deal was reached Saturday, Prigozhin ordered his troops to halt their march on Moscow and retreat to field camps in Ukraine, where they have been fighting alongside Russian troops. (AP Photo)

The greatest challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin in his more than two decades in power fizzled out after the rebellious mercenary commander who ordered his troops to march on Moscow abruptly reached a deal with the Kremlin to go into exile and sounded the retreat.