Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenaries who staged a brief rebellion against Russia’s military command over the weekend, has not been seen in public since calling off his mutiny on Saturday, adding to the confusion surrounding an episode challenging Russia. The guise of political stability.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry S. Peskov said on Saturday that under an agreement to end hostilities, Mr. Prigozhin said he had agreed to leave Russia for neighboring Belarus. In response, Mr. Mr. Prigogine said the trial and charges against him for starting an armed rebellion would be dropped. Peskov said.
But according to Russian media reports published on Monday, Mr. The criminal case against Prigozhin remains open and the charges against him have not been dropped. Kommersant, a Russian newspaper, and the country’s three main news agencies — Tass, RIA and Interfax — all said the Federal Security Service, or FSB, was investigating.
All publications, either state-controlled or affiliated with the Kremlin, cite anonymous sources, so their reports cannot be independently verified. If proceedings continue, Mr. Prigozhin faces up to 20 years in prison.
Leaving the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Saturday night, Mr. Prigozhin was last seen publicly smiling and shaking hands with supporters. He sent a march to Moscow.
Mr. from Rostov-on-Don. Videos of Prigozhin’s exit, where Wagner troops seized a military installation on Saturday, showed Belarus’s autocratic leader and Russia’s President Vladimir V. A trusted ally of Putin, Alexander G. appeared shortly after Lukashenko., He announced that he had mediated an agreement to end hostilities. Mr. Given the government’s close relationship with Putin, Mr. Many observers have questioned whether Prigozhin will be safe in Belarus.
Since then, his whereabouts have been unknown and Mr. Prigogine has not publicly commented on his departure for Belarus. On Sunday evening, Mr. Prigozhin’s press service told Russian TV channel RTVI that he “says hello to everyone and he will answer questions”.
On Saturday, a raid was conducted at the five-star Trezzini Hotel in St. Petersburg, which Mr. Rubles, packets of unidentified “white powder” and gold bars are believed to be owned by one of Prigozhin’s companies and the site of one of his offices.
On Saturday, before ending the riot, Mr. Prigogine admitted that he had a large amount of money. The money was used to pay Wagner troops and pay compensation to relatives of Wagner fighters killed in Ukraine, amounting to five million rubles (about $59,000) per family.
“For 10 years, Wagner operated on the sole basis of money,” he said in an audio recording. “When we worked in Africa, Ukraine and other countries, and scared America, everyone was happy with the money,” he said. A troll farm he admitted to using To interfere in US elections. “Now they’re here to find it. That’s okay. The money is actually found.
Mr. Branded as Putin’s treason, Mr. Despite the severity of Prigozhin’s actions, some Russian officials were reluctant to criticize Wagner’s militia. Conflicts.
Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Russian parliament’s defense committee, said on Sunday that the Wagner fighters who seized the army headquarters in Rostov-on-Don “did not do anything reprehensible” and “followed the orders of their command”.
“They didn’t hurt anybody, didn’t break anything,” he said. “No one has the slightest claim against them – residents of Rostov, or military personnel of the Southern Military District, or law enforcement agencies.”
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