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Intelligence chief: Russia's FSB is assigned to kill Prigozhin

by Dinara Khalilova June 30, 2023 1:24 PM 3 min read
Wagner mercenary group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin speaks in a video filmed in front of dozens of corpses, allegedly of Wagner fighters killed in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, published on May 5, 2023. (Telegram)
This audio is created with AI assistance

After Wagner Group's short-lived rebellion, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) was tasked with liquidating mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, according to Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov.

"In any case, all of such potential assassination attempts will not be fast. It will take them some time to have the proper approaches and to reach the stage when they're ready to conduct a huge operation," Budanov told the War Zone media outlet.

"But once again, I'd like to underline that it's a big open question. Would they be successful in fulfilling that? Will they dare to execute that order?"

On June 27, the FSB  claimed it had closed the criminal case over Prigozhin's armed insurrection.

Prigozhin launched a "march for justice" against Russian military leaders on June 23 after a missile attack allegedly targeted Wagner troops in Ukraine. His mercenaries occupied Rostov and marched 200 kilometers to Moscow, only to abruptly end the rebellion less than 24 hours after its start.

Petro Burkovskyi: Decoding Prigozhin’s rebellion
The Wagner Group’s armed rebellion has displayed little evidence of being a successful challenge to Putin’s regime, but it has created a strong argument in support of Ukraine’s accelerated accession to NATO. The military drama that unfolded in Russia from June 23 to 24, orchestrated by Wagner

As a result of an undisclosed agreement between Wagner's boss and the Kremlin, Prigozhin and his contractors were allowed to leave for Belarus. Moscow claimed that Wagner mercenaries would also have the opportunity to sign a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry.

According to Russian independent outlet Verstka, citing its sources in Belarus, a military camp for 8,000 Wagner contractors is being constructed at Asipovichy, roughly 200 km from the Belarusian-Ukrainian border.

However, Budanov said in the War Zone interview that Prigozhin didn't plan a massive stationing of his troops in Belarus but rather to set up a hub on its territory for logistic purposes and recruitment.

"And what is going to happen next is that the majority of personnel which was previously engaged in fighting in Ukraine will be step-by-step moved to Africa to continue operations there," Budanov added.

Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko claimed on June 27 that Prigozhin had arrived in Belarus. However, there are still no visual or other confirmations of the Wagner boss' whereabouts.

Russia comes to the brink of civil war: How we got here and what it means
Visually, the scene was a familiar one. Russian armored vehicles emblazoned with the Z logo in the central streets of a once peaceful city, masked soldiers standing at key intersections, and confrontational conversations with bemused local civilians. But this wasn’t a Ukrainian city in the first da…
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