Although a number of people claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity decreased after Wagner Group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, waged a short-lived armed rebellion against the country’s military leadership over the weekend, the opposite might actually be true.

On Wednesday, Russia announced that it has dropped charges against Prigozhin and his fighters after previously reaching a negotiation with him and his rebel group that caused the latter to call off the march against Moscow. The Russian Federal Security Service said it has closed its criminal investigation after it found that those involved in the rebellion “ceased activities directed at committing the crime.” Prigozhin had initially been charged with inciting a rebellion.

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As soon as the news of Russia dismissing the case against Prigozhin went viral, people started to comment on how the short coup unified the Kremlin more than ever before and that Putin’s popularity actually grew instead of diminishing.

Here are some of the reactions:

After the rebellion, Prigozhin and his group were sent to Belarus as part of the agreement after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed credit for negotiating a peace deal between the rebellion group and Putin’s administration. Lukashenko is a close ally of Putin. It was reported that base field camps are being set up in Belarus to accommodate the rebel fighters.

Also Read | Is Wagner Group’s rebellion against Putin in Russia backed by Ukraine, Zelenskyy?

Prigozhin and Belarusian authorities have not yet confirmed that he arrived in Belarus. On Tuesday, Belaruski Hajun, an independent Belarusian military monitoring project, confirmed that a business jet that Prigozhin reportedly uses landed in Minsk.

Prigozhin has so far been able to avoid a fate that many in Russia have faced for even unarmed protests, which is life imprisonment or death.