The Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said Saturday that he has ordered his mercenary forces to turn back and return to their bases, and stop heading towards Moscow, according to reports.
In a Telegram post, Prigozhin said this move was being done in order to avoid shedding Russian blood, according to NBC News.
Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed harsh punishment for the armed rebellion led by Prigozhin.
Before the armed rebellion was called off, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin urged Russian residents to stay off the roads and declared Monday to be a non-working day for most residents, with exceptions for public service jobs and industrial enterprises.
Reports of Putin fleeing Moscow have been denied by his spokesperson.
Moscow has issued an arrest warrant for Prigozhin, accusing him of inciting an armed rebellion against the government.
Prigozhin has long feuded with the Ministry of Defense over its prosecution of the war in Ukraine. On Friday night, tensions reached a boiling point as Prigozhin announced he had withdrawn his forces from Ukraine and entered Russia via Rostov, CNN reported. He accused the Kremlin of attacking his men, which the government has strongly denied.
Russia has opened a criminal case into the mercenary leader for inciting an armed rebellion.