A Treasury press release warned at the time that anyone providing landing rights or other services to the plane «runs the risk of facilitating or supporting Prigozhin’s nefarious activities and may also be subject to future sanctions.»
Also on Tuesday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko underscored how seriously the Wagner rebellion had been taken in the country, saying his army had been put into «full combat readiness» in response.
“My position is: if Russia collapses, we will remain under the rubble, we will all die,” Lukashenko, Putin’s closest ally in Europe who claimed to have helped broker the deal that ended the armed mutiny, told a reporter in Minsk.
Despite earlier reports that a criminal case against Prigozhin was still open, the state-run RIA news agency said the case was now closed because «the participants had ceased actions directly aimed at committing the crime.»
Prigozhin’s immediate future has been the subject of much debate after he called off what he later called a «march of justice» as his fighters headed for Moscow, the Russian capital, on Saturday.
By the time they withdrew, the rebels had already taken the main city of Rostov-on-Don and shaken Putin’s authority and sown doubt among millions of Russians already weary of 15 months of war in Ukraine.
In a televised speech on Monday, Putin angrily called the rebels «traitors» who played into the hands of those who wanted to see the country «drown in bloody internal strife.»
Prigozhin claimed that he did not act to overthrow the Putin regime but to protect Wagner from being destroyed by the Russian Defense Ministry.
“Experienced fighters, experienced commanders will just be ‘blurred’ and basically used as meat,” he said, using Russian slang for “destroy”, adding: “We did not have the goal of overthrowing the existing regime and legitimately elected a government. «
Prigozhin also repeated claims that nearly 30 mercenaries had been killed in Ukraine when the Russian army fired on a Wagner unit, serving as a «trigger» for the revolt.
This is a developing story, check back here for updates soon..