UPDATE 1-Kremlin says Vladimir Putin’s position not ‘shaken’ by mutiny

(Reledes with the Kremlin on Putin’s authority and adds quotation marks)

By Andrew Osborn

June 27 (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Tuesday it disagreed with what it called the view of “pseudo-specialists” that a failed armed mutiny by Wagnerian mercenaries over the weekend had shaken the position of President Vladimir Putin.

He portrayed the Russian leader, in power as president or prime minister since 1999, as having acted wisely to avoid what he called “the worst case scenario” by giving talks time to reach a deal that ended the mutiny without further bloodshed. .

Russian helicopter pilots were killed on Saturday after being ordered to engage a convoy of mercenaries heading for Moscow which shot them down. But further escalation and wider conflict was averted.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the mutiny showed how consolidated Russian society was around Putin when the chips were down.

“The level of public consolidation…around the president is very high. These events demonstrated how much society is consolidated around the president.”

Asked if the position of the Russian leader had been “shaken” by the dramatic events, Peskov replied:

“We disagree. There is now a lot of ultra-emotional hysteria among specialists, pseudo-specialists, political scientists and pseudo-politicians. It is also spreading through some hysterical new media, and on Internet, etc. nothing to do with reality.”

Peskov said the Kremlin had no information on the fate of Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner mercenary group, who led the brief mutiny to protest what he saw as the mismanagement of military operations in Ukraine.

Under the terms of an agreement that ended the mutiny, Prigozhin was to be allowed to travel to Belarus, and his fighters were given the option of signing contracts with the Russian regular armed forces or traveling to Belarus with him.

Peskov said the deal ending the mutiny was implemented and Putin always kept his word. (Reporting by Reuters Writing by Andrew Osborn/Gareth Jones; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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