Belarusian chief Alexander Lukashenko has mentioned Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin is in Russia – and Vladimir Putin is not going to « whack » him.
Mr Lukashenko mentioned Prigozhin could also be in St Petersburg or Moscow, and insisted he’s « completely free », including his Wagner troops stay on the camps the place that they had stayed earlier than the group’s aborted coup try final month.
« As for Yevgeny Prigozhin, he’s in St Petersburg the place he’s this morning, possibly he went to Moscow, possibly elsewhere however he is not within the territory of Belarus », Mr Lukashenko mentioned.
Answering a query from Sky’s Diana Magnay, Mr Lukashenko mentioned Prigozhin wouldn’t be « whacked ».
« What is going to occur to him subsequent? Nicely, issues occur in life. However in the event you suppose that Putin is so malicious and vindictive and that he’ll, to say in plain Russian, whack him someplace tomorrow – no, this is not going to occur. It is not going to occur, » Mr Lukashenko mentioned.
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Prigozhin not in Belarus, says Lukashenko
Prigozhin, 62, has not been seen in public since he was pushed out of the Russian metropolis of Rostov after he ordered his males to face down and hypothesis has continued over his future and that of his mercenary group.
Final week, Mr Lukashenko confirmed the exiled chief was in his nation following a Belarus-brokered deal between the Kremlin and Prigozhin which introduced an finish to the mercenary chief’s armed mutiny on 24 June.
Mr Lukashenko, a detailed ally of Mr Putin, didn’t specify the placement of the camps however Prigozhin’s mercenaries fought alongside Russian forces in Ukraine earlier than their revolt.
His feedback observe Russian media reviews claiming Prigozhin was noticed in St Petersburg.
Sky’s safety and defence editor Deborah Haynes says if the reviews are true, they communicate of « unresolved points ».
She mentioned: « If he’s really on his option to Moscow that does not communicate of defiance, it speaks extra of unresolved points surrounding the entire extraordinary affair, which solely two and a half weeks in the past noticed the Russian president dealing with the gravest risk to his authority throughout greater than 20 years in energy. »
Wigs and weapons present in raid of Prigozhin’s palace
What occurs to him and his personal military subsequent
Requested if Prigozhin and his mercenaries had been going to maneuver to Belarus, Mr Lukashenko answered evasively that it will depend upon the selections taken by the Wagner chief and the Russian authorities.
The president has mentioned beforehand that he doesn’t suppose Wagner’s presence in Belarus may result in the destabilisation of his nation.
It comes as Prigozhin’s St Petersburg palace was raided by Russian safety companies.
The FSB says it discovered gold bars, a stuffed alligator and a cabinet filled with wigs on the residence because the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia printed photos and video of the raid yesterday.
Additionally proven had been pictures of Prigozhin dressed in numerous disguises and uniforms.
Whereas the precise phrases of the Belarus-brokered deal are unclear, it’s believed that Prigozhin agreed to relocate to Belarus.
The Russian president described Wagner’s transient insurrection as « treason » and « a stab within the again ».
Nevertheless, after it was known as off, the Kremlin mentioned all prison prices towards Prigozhin can be dropped and Wagner fighters wouldn’t be prosecuted.
The group has been accountable for a few of Moscow’s successes within the warfare in Ukraine and helped seize the town of Bakhmut after months of bloody preventing.
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