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Ukraine War Live Updates: U.S. Sanctions Wagner Boss Prigozhin; Putin Thanks Russian Army for Preventing ‘Civil War'

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This was CNBC's live blog covering updates on the war in Ukrain covering June 27, 2023. See here for the latest updates.

Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a statement about Wagner's action on TV in Moscow, Russia on June 24, 2023.
Sefa Karacan | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a statement about Wagner's action on TV in Moscow, Russia on June 24, 2023.

The eyes of the world remain on Russia after Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin's attempted mutiny on Saturday posed what many regard as the greatest challenge yet to President Vladimir Putin's two-decade grip on power.

In a speech inside the Kremlin Tuesday, Putin thanked Russia's army and security forces for preventing what he called a "civil war" within the country.

It follows a televised address to the nation on Monday, during which the president called the organizers of the uprising "criminals" and vowed to bring them to justice. He also said the uprising would have been crushed — even if Prigozhin had not cut a deal with the Kremlin that reportedly sees him exiled to Belarus.

The revolt raised questions about Putin's grip on power and what could be next for the country. Some analysts expect a "purge" as Putin looks to reassert his dominance in the country, while many are skeptical that the peaceful exile of Prigozhin and his fellow mutineers will go ahead.

Stateside, President Joe Biden clarified on Monday that the United States was not involved in the aborted weekend rebellion.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meanwhile, called for further support from Western leaders to repel the Russian invasion. European foreign ministers and NATO officials on Monday pledged fresh military support to Ukraine, with the EU's military assistance fund set to increase by 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion) to roughly 12 billion euros in the coming years.

In his nightly video address, Zelenskyy also praised Ukrainian troops later on Monday for advancing "in all directions" after he spent the day visiting soldiers on the frontline in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Photos show Ukrainian troops deploying a reconnaissance drone in Donetsk region

Ukrainian servicemen of an air reconnaissance squad of the 45th Brigade assemble a Leleka reconnaissance UAV to send out in the Donetsk region.

The Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine has been a heavily contested area in the 16-month war, according to Reuters. Ukraine said it has recaptured several villages so far this month, the news service said.

A Ukrainian serviceman of an air reconnaissance squad of the 45th Brigade assembles a Leleka reconnaissance UAV on a position in Donetsk region on June 27, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
Genya Savilov | Afp | Getty Images
A Ukrainian serviceman of an air reconnaissance squad of the 45th Brigade assembles a Leleka reconnaissance UAV on a position in Donetsk region on June 27, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
Ukrainian servicemen of an air reconnaissance squad of the 45th Brigade prepare for a flight a Leleka reconnaissance UAV on a position in Donetsk region on June 27, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Genya Savilov | Afp | Getty Images
Ukrainian servicemen of an air reconnaissance squad of the 45th Brigade prepare for a flight a Leleka reconnaissance UAV on a position in Donetsk region on June 27, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian servicemen of an air reconnaissance squad of the 45th Brigade control a Leleka reconnaissance UAV at a position in Donetsk region on June 27, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
Genya Savilov | AFP | Getty Images
Ukrainian servicemen of an air reconnaissance squad of the 45th Brigade control a Leleka reconnaissance UAV at a position in Donetsk region on June 27, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
Ukrainian servicemen of an air reconnaissance squad of the 45th Brigade control a Leleka reconnaissance UAV at a position in Donetsk region on June 27, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
Genya Savilov | AFP | Getty Images
Ukrainian servicemen of an air reconnaissance squad of the 45th Brigade control a Leleka reconnaissance UAV at a position in Donetsk region on June 27, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

-Genya Savilov | AFP | Getty Images

Treasury issues new sanctions against Wagner Group founder Prigozhin, affiliated companies

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group military company, right, sits inside a military vehicle posing for a selfie photo with a local civilian on a street in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2023, prior to leaving an area of the headquarters of the Southern Military District.
AP Photo
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group military company, right, sits inside a military vehicle posing for a selfie photo with a local civilian on a street in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2023, prior to leaving an area of the headquarters of the Southern Military District.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder and owner of the Russia-based mercenary organization the Wagner Group, is the target of new sanctions issued by the U.S. Treasury Department only days after his coup attempt on the Russian government.

Prigozhin has been previously sanctioned by the U.S., the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada, the Treasury announced. But the new tranche also includes Wagner Group executive Andrey Nikolayevich Ivanov and four associated companies for several offenses, including illicit gold dealing in the Central African Republic.

Brian E. Nelson, the under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said the sanctions "disrupt key actors" in the group's financial network and hobble its expansion.

"The Wagner Group funds its brutal operations in part by exploiting natural resources in countries like the Central African Republic and Mali," Nelson said. "The United States will continue to target the Wagner Group's revenue streams to degrade its expansion and violence in Africa, Ukraine, and anywhere else."

The sanctioned companies include Midas Ressources SARLU, an African mining company affiliated with Prigozhin; Diamville, an African gold and diamond purchaser controlled by Prigozhin; Industrial Resources General Trading, a Dubai-based industrial goods distributor that has provided financial support to Prigozhin through its business dealings with Diamville; and Limited Liability Company DM, a Russia-based firm that participated in a gold selling scheme.

—Chelsey Cox

Ukraine must be ready to export mostly via Danube ports, says seaport official

The vessel waits to be loaded at Reni river port on Danube river, in Odesa region, Ukraine, July 21, 2022.
Sergii Kharchenko | Nurphoto | Getty Images
The vessel waits to be loaded at Reni river port on Danube river, in Odesa region, Ukraine, July 21, 2022.

A Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority said Ukraine must be ready to exclusively export grain via its Danube River ports because Russia is effectively blocking Black Sea shipments, Reuters reported.

Russia has not yet decided if it will extend the terms of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a United Nations-backed deal that reopened three key Ukrainian ports for global grain exports.

"With the Russia effectively blocking the operation of the grain corridor, we need to be ready to receive almost the entire export volume of the new harvest through the Danube ports," Dmytro Barinov, the sea ports authority's deputy head, said on Facebook, according to Reuters.

— Melodie Warner

Saudi Arabia satisfied with Russian de-escalation, state media says

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman smiles during the New Global Financial Pact Summit at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, on June 22, 2023.
Ludovic Marin | AFP | Getty Images
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman smiles during the New Global Financial Pact Summit at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, on June 22, 2023.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Tuesday that the kingdom was satisfied with the success of the de-escalation in Russia.

The comments were made during a phone call Tuesday with President Vladimir Putin, the Saudi state news agency reported.

— Karen Gilchrist

Putin thanks Russian army for preventing 'civil war'

Russian President Vladimir Putin speeches during his meeting with officers of Russian army and secret services who prevented invasion of PMC Wagner Group to Russian capital last weekend, on June 27, 2023 in Moscow, Russia. 
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Russian President Vladimir Putin speeches during his meeting with officers of Russian army and secret services who prevented invasion of PMC Wagner Group to Russian capital last weekend, on June 27, 2023 in Moscow, Russia. 

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday thanked Russia's army and security services for preventing what he described as a civil war when faced with an armed mutiny over the weekend.

Speaking inside the Kremlin, Putin told around 2,500 members of the military, security forces, and the National Guard that they had defended their "motherland" against chaos.

"You have defended the constitutional order, the lives, security and freedom of our citizens. You have saved our Motherland from upheaval. In fact, you have stopped a civil war," Putin said.

"In this difficult situation, you have acted precisely and harmoniously, you have proved by your deeds your loyalty to the Russian people and the military oath. You have shown your responsibility for the fate of our Motherland and its future," he added.

The Kremlin said earlier Tuesday it did not agree with assessments that the weekend's escalation led by the Wagner mercenary group had shaken Putin's two-decade hold on power.

Putin also told those assembled on the Kremlin's Cathedral Square that an unspecified number of Russian military pilots had been killed when trying to stop the advance of the mutineers

"In the confrontation with the insurgents our comrades-in-arms, the aviators died," said Putin.

"They did not falter and carried out their orders and their military duty with honor," he added, requesting a minute's silence for the dead pilots.

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, whose removal Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin had demanded, was also present on the square.

— Karen Gilchrist

Russia strikes Ukrainian city on anniversary of deadly attack

Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighters work to take away debris at a shopping center burned after a rocket attack in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, June 28, 2022.
Efrem Lukatsky | AP
Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighters work to take away debris at a shopping center burned after a rocket attack in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, June 28, 2022.

A Russian missile strike hit a cluster of buildings in Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, exactly one year on from a deadly attack on a shopping mall in the city, Ukrainian officials said.

Dmytro Lunin, governor of the Poltava region that includes Kremenchuk, said a dacha, or cottage, cooperative had been struck.

No casualties were initially reported and Russia did not immediately comment on the attack.

It comes a year after a Russian missile strike on the Amstor shopping mall in Kremenchuk on June 27, 2022, which killed at least 20.

"The enemy attacked Poltava region. Just like a year ago on this day, with X-22 missiles," Lunin wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

— Karen Gilchrist

African leaders remain committed to peace efforts despite Russia mutiny, South Africa says

Members of African countries leaders' delegation look at destroyed Russian equipment, exhibited on Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv on June 16, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 
Yan Dobronosov | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Members of African countries leaders' delegation look at destroyed Russian equipment, exhibited on Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv on June 16, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

South Africa's Foreign Minister said Tuesday that African leaders remain committed to their efforts to broker a peace deal between Moscow and Kyiv, despite the attempted mutiny in Russia over the weekend.

Naledi Pandor told reporters that the African peace mission was set to continue with further talks over the coming weeks.

It comes after South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and other African leaders visited Russia and Ukraine as part of a peace mission this month.

— Karen Gilchrist

Zelenskyy seeks 'political invitation' for Ukraine to join NATO

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a NATO summit via video link in Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 29, 2022.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a NATO summit via video link in Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 29, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tuesday that Kyiv was seeking a "political invitation" for the country to join NATO, when leaders of the military alliance meet for a summit next month.

"There is every reason for a political invitation for Ukraine to join the Alliance," Zelenskyy wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

— Karen Gilchrist

Hungary's foreign minister says Russia is 'managing the situation' following attempted mutiny

Thierry Monasse | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Tuesday that key leadership in Moscow have assured him that they are "managing the situation" in Russia

Hungary's foreign minister said Tuesday that key leadership in Moscow have assured him that they are "managing the situation" in Russia following an attempted mutiny by Wagner mercenary forces on Saturday.

Péter Szijjártó said he had spoken over the weekend to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov.

"I've been in touch with Foreign Minister Lavrov and Deputy Prime Minister Mantarov, who have assured me at that time that they are managing the situation," he told CNBC's Sam Vadas at the World Economic Forum's annual conference in Tianjin, China.

"Whatever happens in Russia, especially when it comes to the internal security situation, it does definitely have an impact on the security of the region — or can have a serious impact on the security of the region," he said.

Szijjártó added that he had been in touch with colleagues in Belarus, who had informed him ahead of time of the deal to exile Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin to Minsk.

"Whatever brings closer to peace we support it, whatever brings closer to a threat of escalation we do not support," he added.

— Karen Gilchrist

UN says Russia detained more than 800 civilians since conflict began

TOPSHOT - Police officers detain a man in Saint Petersburg on September 24, 2022, following calls to protest against the partial mobilisation announced by the Russian President. - Police monitoring group OVD-Info counted at least 726 people detained in 32 cities across Russia, nearly half of them in Moscow, at rallies following the partial mobilisation designed to bolster Russia's operation in Ukraine, on September 24, 2022. 
- | Afp | Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Police officers detain a man in Saint Petersburg on September 24, 2022, following calls to protest against the partial mobilisation announced by the Russian President. - Police monitoring group OVD-Info counted at least 726 people detained in 32 cities across Russia, nearly half of them in Moscow, at rallies following the partial mobilisation designed to bolster Russia's operation in Ukraine, on September 24, 2022. 

A U.N. monitoring mission in Ukraine said Tuesday that Russian forces had detained more than 800 civilians and executed 77 since its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The report also revealed that Ukraine had arbitrarily detained civilians on a much smaller scale, in violation of international law.

— Elliot Smith

Plane linked to Wagner boss Prigozhin lands in Belarus

A private business jet linked to Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin landed in Belarus on Tuesday, data from flight-tracking website Flightradar24 showed.

The Embraer Legacy 600 aircraft, registration number RA-02795, matches the identification codes of the jet belonging to Prigozhin, according to the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). It landed early on Tuesday morning near Minsk, having taken off from St. Petersburg shortly after 1 a.m. local time (5 p.m. ET Monday), though it is not yet known who was on board.

Under the deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko over the weekend, which brought a halt to Wagner's rebellion against Moscow, Prigozhin has been effectively exiled to Belarus. His exact whereabouts have been unknown since the uprising.

— Elliot Smith

Russia's FSB drops criminal case against rebels, state media reports

Members of the Wagner Group prepare to depart from the Southern Military District's headquarters and return to their base on June 24, 2023 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. (Photo by Feodor Larin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Feodor Larin | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Members of the Wagner Group prepare to depart from the Southern Military District's headquarters and return to their base on June 24, 2023 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. (Photo by Feodor Larin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Russia's FSB (Federal Security Service) has closed its criminal case against armed rebels involved in the failed Wagner Group mutiny over the weekend, state-owned news agencies reported Tuesday citing the FSB's Center of Special Operations.

"In the course of the investigation of a criminal case initiated by the investigative department of the FSB of the Russian Federation on June 23 under Article 279 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on the fact of an armed rebellion, it was established that on June 24 its participants stopped actions directly aimed at committing a crime," the security service said, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

"Taking into account this and other circumstances relevant to the investigation, on June 27, the investigating authority issued a decision to close the criminal case."

Wagner Group fighters on Saturday captured a military headquarters in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don before advancing toward Moscow.

However, the private mercenary group's march was halted when Prigozhin reportedly cut a deal with the Kremlin, brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

RIA also reported on Tuesday that Wagner is preparing to hand over its heavy artillery to the Russian defense ministry.

— Elliot Smith

Gains for Ukraine air forces near Donetsk, British Ministry of Defence says

Ukrainian air forces have made small advances east from the village of Krasnohorivka, near Donetsk city, according to the British Ministry of Defence.

"This is one of the first instances since Russia's February 2022 invasion that Ukrainian forces have highly likely recaptured an area of territory occupied by Russia since 2014," the MoD said in an update Tuesday.

"Recent multiple concurrent Ukrainian assaults throughout the Donbas have likely overstretched Donetsk People's Republic and Chechen forces operating in this area."

U.K. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Parliament on Monday that as part of its summer counteroffensive, Ukraine had already recaptured approximately 300 square kilometers, which he said was "more than Russia seized in its whole winter offensive."

— Elliot Smith

Zelenskyy praises Ukrainian advances after trip to frontline

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday praised Ukrainian forces for advancing "in all directions," after he spent the day visiting and distributing awards to troops on the frontline in parts of eastern and southern Ukraine.

"Today, our warriors have advanced in all directions, and it is a happy day," the president said in a nightly video address, according to a translation.

— Elliot Smith

Putin honors Russian pilots killed in Wagner Group mutiny

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) meets with the country's top security officials, including Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (3R), in Moscow on June 26, 2023. 
Valery Sharifulin | AFP | Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) meets with the country's top security officials, including Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (3R), in Moscow on June 26, 2023. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday paid tribute to fighter pilots killed during the Wagner Group's aborted mutiny over the weekend.

In a televised address, Putin's first public remarks since Saturday's armed rebellion, he thanked Russian citizens, law enforcement and security services for their unity and praised the fallen pilots for their "courage and self-sacrifice."

This was Putin's first acknowledgment of the pilots' deaths after Wagner forces downed Russian aircraft during the 24-hour revolt, but there is no official information as yet on how many aircraft were shot down and how many Russian pilots died.

— Elliot Smith

Putin addresses Russians, calls Wagner rebellion 'criminal'

A screen grab captured from a video shows Russian President Vladimir Putin making a statement amid escalating tensions between the Kremlin and the head of paramilitary group Wagner in Moscow on June 24, 2023.
Kremlin Press Office| Handout | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
A screen grab captured from a video shows Russian President Vladimir Putin making a statement amid escalating tensions between the Kremlin and the head of paramilitary group Wagner in Moscow on June 24, 2023.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has delivered his first televised address since Wagner Group mercenaries instigated a failed mutiny against Russian military leaders over the weekend.

Putin called the rebellion "criminal activity to split and weaken the country, which is now confronting a colossal external threat," meaning the international response to Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian president said the organizers of the armed insurrection would be "brought to justice," yet he did not mention Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin by name.

He also offered apparent clemency to the hundreds of Wagner mercenaries who participated in the armed march from the southern city of Rostov to about 200 miles outside Moscow.

The speech did little to clarify what comes next for the Wagner Group or for the Russian military, which was unprepared for the speed and ease with which the rebel convoy traveled through the country on major highways.

In his speech, Putin insisted his troops would have crushed the rebellion if it had proceeded any further.

— Christina Wilkie

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:

Putin says mutiny organizers will face justice; Biden says U.S. not involved in rebellion

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