Russian intelligence services threatened to harm the families of Wagner leaders before Yevgeny Prigozhin called off his advance on Moscow, according to UK security sources.
The analysis offers clues into the mystery of why Prigozhin, the Wagner Group leader, called off his mutinous march on Moscow on Saturday just hours before reaching the capital.
The Kremlin said on Saturday that Prigozhin would head to Belarus in exchange for a pardon from charges of treason.
It also remains unclear if Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defence minister, is set to be demoted or fired, as Prigozhin demanded.
On Sunday, the Russian MP Andrey Gurulyov, a prominent Kremlin propagandist, said there was “no option” but for Prigozhin and another high-profile Wagner figure to be executed.
The Kremlin didn’t withdraw any units to defend Moscow against Wagner fighters but Prigozhin called for regular army soldiers to desert.
Meanwhile, members of Russia’s convict army have issued threats against Prigozhin, claiming he betrayed them by abandoning the Kremlin coup attempt. »