The disappearance of Russian mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin following last month’s dramatic but short-lived coup attempt by Wagner forces has left Kremlin watchers scrambling for leads as to where the warlord could be now.
MI6 chief Sir Richard Moore offered an assessment on the likely whereabouts of Prigozhin on Wednesday (July 19) telling an audience in Prague that the Wagner leader was “floating around” but did not share any further details on the Russian’s movements.
Following the mutiny, Prigozhin agreed to a compromise mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, relocating to Minsk in exchange for criminal charges being withdrawn.
However Prigozhin’s whereabouts have been unknown since June 24, and while he is said to have left audio messages, his whereabouts have yet to be confirmed.
Below are the latest theories as to where Vladimir Putin’s one-time chef might be holded up.
Read More: Putin faced with ‘dilemma’ as Ukrainian troops destroy Russian boats on island
Military Camp in Belarus
According to a recently discovered image, Yevgeny Prigozhin may be at a military base in Belarus, where Wagner forces are apparently training Belarusian soldiers.
Belarus is known to have offered exile to the mercenaries following their uprising, and Prigozhin could be among them.
The tent in which he was seen matched those seen a week earlier during an official tour of the camp led by Belarussian military officials.
The photo shows Prigozhin sitting upright on a little cot in a tent. There are blankets, a duffle bag, and many electrical chargers beside him. Two windows are darkened behind him.
Wagner Group shut down Russian base as fifth military convoy arrives in Belarus[REPORT]
Moment Russian military is ambushed on return from Ukrainian front line[WATCH]
Brits warned when next Armageddon text will be sent to phones[INSIGHT]
The windows in the photograph appear to match those on tents at the military camp where Wagner and Belarusian soldiers are staying. The floorboards look to be the same as those found in tents.
Evidence also points to Prigozhin having ignored the offer of exile in Belarus and opted instead to return the familiar surroundings of his home city.
Lukashenko appeared to confirm this on July 6 when the Belarusian leader told reporters: “As for Prigozhin, he’s in St Petersburg. He is not on the territory of Belarus.”
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Separate reports had Prigozhin arriving in St Petersburg on July 4 to personally collect weapons seized by Russian security forces during a raid on his mansion in the city.
According to Russian media outlet Fontanka: “On July 4, at 17:00, a 7-Series BMW and a Land Cruiser with security guards accompanying it drove up to the building of the Federal Security Service Department of St Petersburg and [Leningrad] Oblast on Liteyny Prospekt.
“The motorcade was parked near Shpalernaya Street, 25. The back door of the BMW opened, Yevgeny Prigozhin got out and, after walking just a few metres, opened the massive doors with the sign ‘Reception’ to the right of them.”
Vladimir Putin is reported to have met with Prigozhin ‘for tea’ in Moscow following Wagner’s mutiny attempt.
Held on June 29, the three-hour meeting saw Wagner commanders reportedly offer Putin an “assessment” of the PMC’s operations in Ukraine.
Discussions were also said to have been had on the events of June 24 and the rebellion which saw the mercenary group dramatically disband after mounting a march on Moscow.
Despite official confirmation from Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov, others have cast doubts on whether the meeting took place. No visual confirmation of Prigozhin’s appearance at the Kremlin meeting has been produced
Wagner Group operate a vast network of business in several African states including Mali and the Central African Republic.
The organisation’s fighters also have military contracts with a string of African regimes, such connections could have granted Prigozhin the means to spirit himself away somewhere on the continent.
Russian political commentator Olga Romanova told Current Time: “I think he will [leave] very quietly and will suddenly emerge somewhere in Africa”.
According to a former high-ranking US military official, Prigozhin is most likely either dead or imprisoned in Russia.
Retired General Robert Abrams has expressed scepticism about a reported meeting between Prigozhin and Putin at the Kremlin five days after Wagner troopers staged a 24-hour mutiny.
The General believes the meeting was planned and that Prigozhin has already been silenced in some way. Prigozhin, in his opinion, is unlikely to make any future public appearances.
He recently said: “I think he’ll either be put in hiding, or sent to prison, or dealt with some other way, but I doubt we’ll ever see him again.”
When asked whether Prigozhin could still be alive, General Abrams replied: “I personally don’t think he is, and if he is, he’s in a prison somewhere.”
Source: Read Full Article