On Sunday, residents of a Russian city that served as the epicenter of a brief insurrection against the top brass of the army expressed relief, but they also showed some sympathy for the mutiny and doubts about what had occurred.
A day earlier, members of the Wagner mercenary gang, identifiable by their silver armbands and their possession of assault weapons, had spread out around Rostov-on-Don in armored vehicles and tanks.
They also claimed that they had taken possession of the military headquarters in the southern city, which is a crucial center for Russia’s campaign in Ukraine, and that they were currently moving on Moscow.
Later on Saturday, the Wagner group decided to disband after reaching an agreement with the Kremlin. According to the terms of the arrangement, the Wagner group’s head, Yevgeny Prigozhin, will be able to avoid mutiny charges and go into exile in Belarus, which is associated with the Kremlin.
A physician named Rina Abramian, who is 28 years old, expressed that she was “relieved” by the results.
When anything that is often ordinary in your city undergoes a shift and you are unable to fully comprehend what is taking on, you are likely to experience feelings of extreme anxiety and vulnerability. So I felt relieved.”
In the city center on Sunday morning, tank track markings could still be visible on the road, and locations where armored vehicles had been stationed had been blocked off. However, buses were operating according to their typical schedules once again.
There was a giant blue banner that read “Brothers, let’s not allow bloodshed, there are no enemies here, we can only win together” that was observed hanging in a park in the city.
Residents who had complied with a directive from the municipal authority to remain inside their houses on Saturday were taking advantage of the beautiful weather. “I understand them.”
Tatyana, a teacher in her 76th year who was seated on a bench, remarked that she had been “very upset” when she first heard about the uprising.
They advised me not to go out, so I stayed in since they thought it was safer that way. I kept up with the news throughout the day and was pretty concerned, so it’s a relief that everything turned out well.
Dmitry Filyanin, a psychotherapist who is 35 years old, stated that he felt afraid when it happened but relief when he learned about the settlement that was done between Wagner and the Kremlin following mediation by Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus.
Having said that, he continued by saying, “There is still a lack of understanding.” What purpose did this serve? Who was it that started everything?
“There is still confusion but it has somehow become calmer,” he remarked. “There is still uncertainty.”
A retiree named Boris Kudryavtsev expressed that he had “respect” for those who fought for Wagner.
“I understand them a bit,” he said, adding that nevertheless, they should have dealt with their problems with Russia’s military authorities in a different manner. “I understand them a bit.”
“When they arrived, they brought firearms. It might have been a genuine catastrophe,” said the former driver, adding that President Vladimir Putin should “pay attention” to Russia’s “elderly” military leadership. “It could have been a real mess.”
Throughout the course of the Ukraine war, Prigozhin has voiced more vociferous complaints about the leadership of Russia’s armed forces, accusing them of inactivity, incompetence, and failing to supply his soldiers with sufficient ammo. His complaints have been phrased in increasingly aggressive tones.
Dozens of people from the city of Rostov-on-Don gathered in front of the military headquarters to show their solidarity as word spread that the group was putting an end to their rebellion.
On Saturday, they could be heard chanting “Wagner! Wagner!”
On Sunday, Anton, a 33-year-old driver, expressed his belief that the Wagner fighters had behaved “correctly” by their actions.
They are doing the right thing by standing up for what is right, which is a commendable action.
You can’t just abandon them in the lurch like that… Those men have made a significant contribution to the betterment of our nation.