Yevgeny Prigozhin tried calling Vladimir Putin during the Wagner Group rebellion, a report says.
Prigozhin's mercenary force launched an attack on the Russian government Saturday.
The rebellion was called off when Wagner leaders and the Kremlin brokered a deal.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group mercenary force, tried to call Russian President Vladimir Putin when he realized his mutiny against Russia's military leadership had gone too far, a report said.
After Prigozhin's forces had seized control of the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don Saturday, Putin branded the rebels traitors, told them to surrender, and vowed that they would be punished.
Sources told Russian independent media outlet Meduza that Prigozhin said: "No one is going to turn themselves in at the request of the president, the Federal Security Service, or anyone else."
According to sources near the Kremlin, Prigozhin then "tried to call Putin, but the president didn't want to speak with him."
Meduza's sources told the outlet that Prigozhin likely realized that "he'd gone too far" and "prospects for his column to continue to advance were dim." His boasts that members of the Russian military were prepared to join his rebellion had not materialized.
At that stage, Prigozhin's forces were around 120 miles from Moscow, and were about to reach the first defense perimeter set up around the Russian capital by the military and national guard, Meduza reported.
Prigozhin said in a video message early Saturday he had launched the rebellion to seek the firing of Russia's military leaders, who he claimed had botched Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but not Putin's ouster.
According to the report, both sides decided to step down to avoid bloodshed, and senior Russian security officials negotiated with Wagner leaders.
Prigozhin eventually accepting Belarusian President Viktor Lukashenko's offer to go into exile in his country.
The Kremlin said Wagner fighters would be offered a chance to enrol in the Russian military, and charges against Prigozhin and Wagner rebels would not be pursued.
Prigozhin was formerly among Putin's most trusted aides, using the Wagner group to project the Kremlin's power in Africa and the Middle East, as well as launching covert operations against the West.
Prigozhin broke his silence since the mutiny in an audio message released Monday, where he reiterated his claim he had not been seeking to depose Putin.