Belarus says it brokered deal in return for safety of rebels.
Wagner forces had taken control of Rostov.
ROSTOV-ON-DON/VORONEZH, Russia, June 24 (Reuters) - Mutinous Russian mercenary fighters who surged most of the way to Moscow have agreed to turn back to avoid bloodshed, their leader said on Saturday, in a de-escalation of what had become a major challenge to President Vladimir Putin's grip on power.
In an audio message, Prigozhin said the fighters would return to base because of the risk of blood being spilled.
Earlier, Prigozhin said his men were on a "march for justice" to remove corrupt and incompetent Russian commanders he blames for botching the war in Ukraine.
Putin later signed a law tightening rules for breaking martial law in places where it has been imposed, the RIA news agency said.
Reporting by Reuters journalists Writing by Andrew Osborn, Kevin Liffey, Peter Graff and Frank Jack Daniel Editing by Giles Elgood and Frances Kerry. »