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Prigozhin appears in video allegedly showing Wagner exit from base in Russia

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 19, 2023 10:15 PM 2 min read
A screenshot captured from a video shows Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin making a speech after in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on June 24, 2023, during the mercenary group's armed mutiny in Russia. (Photo by Wagner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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A video posted on a Telegram channel affiliated with the Wagner Group appears to show Yevgeny Prigozhin, in the first sighting of the mecenary group leader since the group's armed revolt in June.

“We fought with dignity! We have done a lot for Russia,” says the man in the video, who shares Prigozhin's appearance and voice.

The Telegram channel reported that the video was taken during the process of transferring the Wagner flag from their main base in the Russian village of Molkino. Fighters from the group announced the base was closing on July 17.

The Telegram post alleged that there were several thousand fighters in attendance.

According to CNN, the video has not been edited and metadata on the file suggests it could have been shot at dusk on July 18 or at dawn on July 19. The Head of MI6 Sir Richard Moore told CNN that UK intelligence authorities have ascertained that Prigozhin is still alive and walking free.

While the Wagner flag appeared to have been lowered in Molkino, the BBC verified satellite images that show about 300 tents that have been erected at Tsel, a disused military base in southern Belarus, on July 18.

The tents appeared over a two-week period, while 31 large vehicles arrived as part of a Wagner group convoy on July 17.

The existence of the convoy was also reported by monitoring group Belarusian Hajun, who have said it was at least the third Wagner convoy that has arrived in Belarus since July 11.

Belarusian state media reported on July 14 that Wagner mercenaries were in the country to train Belarusian territorial defense forces.

Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko allegedly helped broker a deal for Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin and his troops to relocate to Belarus after their armed "rebellion" in late June stopped short of reaching Moscow.

Ukraine's Border Guard Service commented that the mercenaries do not pose a serious threat to Ukraine, as their numbers count in mere hundreds.

Poland transfers forces to eastern border as Wagner convoys enter Belarus
Two Polish brigades have been transferred from the west of the country to locations near the border with Belarus, Polish defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak said on July 18.

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