Belarusian president makes u-turn, says Wagner leader still in Russia



Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, says Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group, is not in his country.


Lukashenko’s claims contradict his admission of Prigozhin’s arrival in his country weeks ago, after an aborted rebellion against Russian President Vladimir Putin.


The Belarusian president had brokered a deal that would see Prigozhin move to Belarus in what seemed like an exile, and the Russian federation drop charges that had been levelled against him.


However, days after the “pardon” was granted, Putin said orchestrators of the Wagner Group’s mutiny will face justice.


The Russian leader had described the uprising as a “stab in the back”, and vowed to take “brutal” action against instigators of the mutiny.


Speaking in a press conference on Thursday, Lukashenko said the Wagner leader is still in Russia and not in Belarus as previously stated.


“In terms of Yevgeny Prigozhin, he is in St. Petersburg. Or maybe this morning he would travel to Moscow or elsewhere,” he said.


 “But he is not on the territory of Belarus now.”




Details of a raid on the office and residence of the Wagner leader in St. Petersburg surfaced as the Belarusian president spoke.


The Russian security services (FSB) said it found guns, ammunition, gold bars, a stuffed alligator, a cupboard full of wigs and tons of fake passports.


The FSB also said it found bundles of cash in different currencies and a framed photo allegedly showing the severed heads of Prigozhin’s enemies.


The security agency made no mention of Prigozhin’s whereabouts.

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