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Exiled boss of the feared Wagner mercenary army Yevgeny Prigozhin could have returned to Russia.
Spy chiefs in the US reckon that he could have skipped Belarus and could now be in either Moscow or St Petersburg.
The suspicion comes after Belarus's dictator, President Alexander Lukashenko, announced the warlord was no longer in the country.
READ MORE: Putin 'knows destroying Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant would be suicide', says expert
Prigozhin was believed to have been holing up there after his Wagner mercenaries appeared to stage a failed coup in Russia.
Speaking to theNew York Times, a US military source said that Putin’s administration had neither the means nor desire to go after him.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs, recently tweeted: "It's great that Russian authorities don't really care about a person who launched an armed mutiny against them.
“So where is he exactly? With the money, weapons and Wagner mercenaries?"
Flight trackers appeared to show a plane connected to “Putin’s Chef” leaving St Petersburg on Wednesday (July 5) and heading for Moscow, then heading for southern Russia.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reckon that a couple of things are likely given the warlord's continued ability to decide his own fate, despite leading an insurrection against one of the most powerful dictators on the planet.
It reckoned he is, "protected by some security guarantees and/or that the Kremlin continues to prioritise undermining his reputation in Russia over targeting Prigozhin physically or legally".
It added: "Wagner is not fulfilling its end of the deal."
A raid on his home in St Petersburg recently appeared to find a number of wigs, while leaked images appeared to show him wearing a number of disguises.
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- Vladimir Putin
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