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Prigozhin breaks silence, pledges 'further victories at the front'

by Dinara Khalilova July 3, 2023 6:54 PM 2 min read
A screenshot from a video released by Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin's press service on June 24 in which he claimed they had taken control of all military sites in the southern Russian city of Rostov.
This audio is created with AI assistance

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In his first voice message since June 26, Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed he expects "further victories at the front" without providing any further details.

The message was published on the Telegram channel Grey Zone, affiliated with the private mercenary Wagner Group, on July 3.

Earlier, Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said that Wagner mercenaries would no longer fight in Ukraine following Prigozhin's failed rebellion against the Russian military.

According to Budanov, Prigozhin plans to redeploy most of his forces previously engaged in Russia's war against Ukraine to Africa.

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

The mercenary boss also claimed in the latest message that his short-lived insurrection was aimed at "fighting traitors and mobilizing (Russian) society."

"And I think that we have succeeded in much of these," added Prigozhin.

It is not clear when the audio was recorded. Prigozhin didn’t mention anything about his whereabouts, which have been subject to speculations and rumors since the end of the Wagner rebellion on June 24.

Prigozhin launched a "march for justice" against Russian military leaders on June 23 after the Russian army 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.

As a result of an undisclosed agreement between Wagner's leader and the Kremlin, Prigozhin and his contractors were allowed to leave for Belarus to avoid persecution.

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

Russia's Federal Security Service has been reportedly assigned to liquidate Prigozhin.

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