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The Belarusian President Says Wagner Mercenary Leader Yevgeny Prigozhin Is In Russia

The Belarusian President says Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is in Russia, stating that, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the mercenary group, is specifically located in St. Petersburg. Lukashenko clarified that while Prigozhin has returned to Russia, Wagner's troops continue to remain stationed at the camps where they were positioned prior to the brief uprising.

Hilda Workman
Jul 07, 20237255 Shares105150 Views
The Belarusian President says Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is in Russia, stating that, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the mercenary group, is specifically located in St. Petersburg. Lukashenko clarified that while Prigozhin has returned to Russia, Wagner's troops continue to remain stationed at the camps where they were positioned prior to the brief uprising.
"As for Prigozhin, he’s in St. Petersburg," Lukashenko told reporters. "He is not on the territory of Belarus."
According to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, he played a role in facilitating an agreement with Yevgeny Prigozhin to resolve the mutiny situation on June 24. As part of the deal, Prigozhin and his soldiers were granted amnesty, along with security assurances for their well-being. Additionally, they were given permission to relocate to Belarus.
According to reliable sources, Yevgeny Prigozhin made a personal appearance on July 4th to retrieve the weapons that were previously seized during recent searches. This development has sparked concerns and raised questions about the nature of Prigozhin's involvement in military operations and his influence within Russia.
Arriving in a motorcade consisting of a 7-Series BMW and a Land Cruiser, accompanied by a group of security guards, Prigozhin made his way to the Federal Security Service Department of St Petersburg and [Leningrad] Oblast located on Liteyny Prospekt. The motorcade was later parked near Shpalernaya Street, 25, where Prigozhin emerged from the BMW and swiftly entered the building.
The weapons handed over to Prigozhin included two Saiga rifles, an Austrian Steyr Mannlicher rifle, an AR semi-automatic rifle, and several other rifles and pistols. Witnesses observed that Prigozhin, accompanied by his entourage, emerged shortly after receiving the weapons, placing the rifles securely in the car. The motorcade then departed from the scene.

The Background Story

It was reported that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, whom Prigozhin had sought to remove through his mutiny, presented him with a sum of 10 billion rubles (equivalent to over $100 million USD). This money was reportedly discovered during a law enforcement raid on one of Prigozhin's vehicles.
In addition to these developments, Prigozhin took steps to close down his media holdings, including media group The Patriot and its associated outlets People's News and Economics Today, as reported by The Moscow Times.

Wagner chief Prigozhin returns to Russia, fate unclear

These events unfolded after Prigozhin released an audio message earlier in the week, wherein he promised new triumphs on the front lines. However, despite his assertions, the Kremlin maintains that the rebels have been expelled to Belarus.
A message shared by Wagner-affiliated GreyZone Telegram channel via The Associated Press quoted Prigozhin saying:
We need your support today more than ever. Thank you for that. I want you to understand that our ‘justice march’ was aimed at fighting traitors and mobilizing our society. I think we achieved a lot of that.- Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary
The failed rebellion has been widely regarded as the most significant challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his more than two decades in power, exposing vulnerabilities within the Kremlin.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, leading a formidable force of 25,000 mercenaries, advanced to a distance of 125 miles from Moscow before abruptly terminating the operation and instructing his troops to return home. Subsequently, Prigozhin sought refuge in Belarus.

Conclusion

Following the incident, reports emerged suggesting that Prigozhin had expected support from various military officers and regiments, which ultimately failed to materialize. There were indications of a subsequent military purge, but the Pentagon's press secretary, Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, stated that the Department of Defense had not observed any cause for alarm.
"Right now, we continue to see some elements of the Wagner group in Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine. As it relates to Belarus, I don’t have any updates to provide on that front," he said.
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