New Video Appears to Show Prigozhin for 1st Time Since Revolt

July 20, 2023

New video appears to show Wagner PMC chief Yevgeny Prigozhin for the first time since his mercenary group’s two-day uprising against the Russian military. 

Until the video was posted Wednesday, Prigozhin had only released a handful of audio messages since last month’s uprising.

In an early nighttime video that was posted on Telegram on Wednesday, a person who looks and sounds like Prigozhin welcomes his fighters to Belarus. 

Prigozhin in the video says that Wagner PMC is moving its camp to Belarus. The Wagner boss adds that they might eventually move on to Africa. 

In the video, Prigozhin further says that what’s currently going on with the Russian army is “a shame,” and adds that his mercenary group might return to the “special military operation” when “we are sure we won’t shame ourselves and our experience.”

Messaging app channels linked to Prigozhin’s Wagner mercenary company said he spoke at a field camp in Belarus. 

Though it’s unclear when the video was taken, starting last week several Wagner convoys flying Russian flags and Wagner insignias have been seen rolling toward a field camp in Belarus that Belarusian authorities had offered to the mercenary group.

Welcome lads…Welcome to Belarusian soil,” Prigozhin says in the video.

On July 6 Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that Prigozhin was back in Russia despite a reported stipulation that the mercenary chief move to Belarus in a deal Lukashenko had brokered to end the Wagner revolt between Prigozhin and Russian Vladimir Putin.

The Wagner uprising began on Friday, June 23 when Prigozhin marched his columns of mercenaries into the Russian city of Rostov near Ukraine’s front lines. Prigozhin has said that his fighters “blockaded” the town “without firing a single shot.”

The revolt ended the next day, after that deal was struck by Lukashenko, which also stipulated that Prigozhin’s mercenaries would receive immunity, and that charges brought against Prigozhin himself would be dropped, once he turned his columns away from their subsequent march toward Moscow. Before turning back, some 8,000 of Prigozhin’s mercenaries had come within 125 kilometers of the capital city.

“We fought honorably,” Prigozhin says in the newly-posted video. He tells his mercenaries, “You have done a great deal for Russia.”

Wagner’s failed rebellion represented the biggest threat to Putin’s authority in his more than two decades in power. 

PHOTO: @Gerashchenko_en

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