Speculation has been rife about the whereabouts of Russian private mercenary Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin since he launched an unsuccessful rebellion against the leadership in Moscow last month, with a former official in the US claiming he is possibly dead. or in captivity.
According to retired top US general Robert Abrams, the meeting, which took place on June 29 and was confirmed by the Kremlin a few days earlier, was false.
while talking to ABC News On a range of issues, such as the NATO summit and the Ukrainian conflict, he also highlighted the Wagner uprising that took place last month.
Abrams reported, “My personal assessment is that I doubt we will ever see Prigozhin in public again.” ABC News,
“I imagine he’ll either go into hiding, or go to prison, or be dealt with in some other way, but I doubt we’ll ever see him again.”
He also responded to a question on whether the billionaire boss was alive, with the retired four-star general saying: “I personally don’t think he’s alive, and if he is, he’s in jail somewhere.”
Abrams referred to that meeting, saying, “I would be surprised if we actually see proof that Putin did meet with Prigozhin, and I think that’s highly dramatic.” Dmitry Peskov confirmed this a few days ago.
Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday Prigozhin and his entourage met with President Vladimir Putin, who invited 35 people to the three-hour meeting.
“All we can say is that the President has given his assessment of the company [Wagner’s] action at the front during special military operations [in Ukraine] and also gave his assessment on the events of 24th June [the day of the mutiny]Peskov told reporters.
He added that Putin had listened to the commanders’ explanation of what had happened and offered them employment and further options for the war.
“The commanders presented their version of what happened [on June 24], He emphasized that he is a staunch supporter and soldier of the Head of State and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. They also said that they are ready to continue fighting for the Motherland,” Peskov said.
Putin has so far kept Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov in office, rejecting Prigozhin’s appeals to sack them – at the sight of both men’s appearances on state TV.
Under the terms of the agreement, Prigozhin was to leave for Belarus, ending the rebellion. But Lukashenko said last week that Prigozhin is back in Russia and that Wagner fighters have not yet taken up an offer to relocate to Belarus, raising questions about the agreement’s implementation.
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said, “Prigozin’s failed coup attempt put a target on Russia’s back.”
“I will not insure his life … Prigozhin clearly took a chance. If you’re going to battle the king, don’t do it with a Nerf bat. He has done. It failed,” Pompeo added WABC 770 AM radio’s “Cats Roundtable” show with host John Catsimetidis.