Where is Evgeny Prigozhin? Did he really go into exile in Belarus after the Wagner Group riots at the end of June? Have you returned to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin, as Lukashenko claimed? Have you left for one of the countries where the mercenary army serves, such as Sudan, Mali or Libya? Speculation about his whereabouts has not stopped. Since he marched with his troops towards Moscow, conquering several cities on his way, such as Rostov-on-Don.
The latest information about Prigozhin’s location was revealed by the Kremlin on Monday, confirming a three-hour meeting between the Wagner leader and the Russian president on June 29 in Moscow. The latter invited 35 people to the meeting, including a number of unit leaders of the group, who confirmed this Continue on Putin’s orders After the mutiny, as reported by government spokesman Dmitry Peskov. However, a week and a half had passed since that session, and the mercenary chief’s whereabouts were still unknown.
To put an end to the rebellion that broke out on June 23 and to avert the threat led by Prigozhin, the Kremlin and Wagner signed an agreement just one day after the start of the rebellion where the commander of the military group He “would have gone to Belarus” with his soldiers and the charges against him would have been dropped. The agreement was reached just hours after Putin called the uprising a “stab in the back” and promised the perpetrators to pay for their “betrayal”.
The detente held out, and three days later, the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, confirmed Prigozhin’s arrival in his country. To accommodate Wagner’s forces, they were offered powers “An old abandoned barracks with a wall around the perimeter.”, where they could “pit up tents”, promising to provide them with whatever help they needed. Not surprisingly, the Ministry of Defense was interested in “the experience of these fighters.”
The Kremlin avoids explaining its whereabouts
Despite this confirmation of Lukashenko’s arrival in the country, doubts about Prigozhin’s true location have not subsided. There were no photos or videos, just some audio, attesting to their survival. Speculations were building until last Thursday, July 6, the Belarusian president himself spoke again on the matter. At a press conference in Minsk in front of foreign media, he announced that he had spoken with the Wagner leader and that he was in Russia, specifically, in St. Petersburg.
Contradictory information about the whereabouts of the fighter, who has not been seen since the uprising, fueled uncertainty and the proliferation of various hypotheses. Why did he return to Russia? Did he really leave the country as stated at the beginning? For its part, the Kremlin has avoided clarifying Prigozhin’s whereabouts.We do not monitor their movements. “We have neither the possibility nor the desire to do so,” Peskov said.
discredit the Kremlin
After the uprising, Russia did not hesitate to try to discredit the mercenaries. The Kremlin press leaked photographs of a search of Prigozhin’s palace, where agents discovered bundles of dollars, rubles, gold bars, several weapons, several passports with different names, and Closet full of wigs. Saint Petersburg-based news website Fontanka said investigators found a picture of “severed heads” in the house.
Soon after the mutiny and subsequent disappearance of Wagner’s chief, two of Russia’s top military leaders went missing. On June 28, the country’s media reported the arrest of Major General Sergey Surovkin, who has not been heard from since, and which The New York Times confirmed knew of Prigozhin’s plans. The general also left the public square Valery GerasimovThe chief of the General Staff who reappeared on Monday in a video released by the Defense Ministry.
It remains to be seen what will be the fate of Surovikin and Prigozhin, whether they follow in Gerasimov’s footsteps and return to the public square or remain unaccounted for. Last week, already Lukashenko Rule out Putin being ‘vindictive’ or ‘evil’ As if touting the death of a mercenary in one way or another: “This will not happen.”