Belarusian President: Prigozhin is in Russia not in Belarus

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The Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday that the leader of Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is still in Russia, despite the agreement concluded with the Kremlin to move him to Belarus after his rebellion last month.

“As far as Prigozhin is concerned, he’s in St. Petersburg, not in Belarus,” Lukashenko told reporters working for foreign media during a news conference.

He explained that Wagner fighters are in their barracks and not in Belarus until this moment”.

He added, “In the event that the Russian government and Wagner Group consider it necessary to deploy a number of Wagner fighters in Belarus to rest and train… then I will implement my decision to receive them”.

Lukashenko stressed, “I don’t think that Wagner will rebel against Belarus”.

He added, “I don’t see a danger to Belarus due to the stationing of the forces of a private military company in it”.

The Belarusian president pointed out that the world order that arose after the end of World War II no longer exists.

Likewise, he pointed out that the process of transformation from a unipolar world to a multipolar world has begun and cannot be stopped.

Lukashenko confirmed that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky finally realized that he won’t win this battle, and began to take steps to get out of the impasse in which he put himself.

He said that after Western promises to help Ukraine, Zelensky thought that he had wings and flew with them, but that didn’t happen.

Meanwhile, news from Russia revealed that Yevgeny Prigozhin is in St. Petersburg to collect an arsenal of weapons confiscated from him by the security services.

Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin  spotted on Tuesday arriving at a FSB office in St. Petersburg along with his security team.

He had reportedly been invited to collect several weapons seized by security services in the wake of his attempted insurrection last month.

The Russian authorities handed over two Saiga rifles, a Mannlicher rifle, and several other firearms.

It was reported that among the firearms a Glock pistol gifted to him by the Rusian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, whom Prigozhin had allegedly hoped to capture in his armed uprising and march on Rostov.

Prigozhin was also reportedly given back 10 billion rubles (more than $100 million) that law enforcement had found during a raid on one of his vehicles.

The news comes after Prigozhin released a new audio message earlier this week promising new victories on the frontline even as the Kremlin insists he and Wagner have been banished to Belarus.

“We need your support today more than ever… Thank you for that… I want you to understand that our justice march aimed at fighting traitors and mobilizing our society… I think we achieved a lot of that,” Prigozhin said in the message shared by the Wagner-affiliated GreyZone Telegram channel.

On June 28, Belarus announced that it would welcome Prigozhin, who then arrived in exile on its soil, according to what announced, within the framework of an agreement that put an end to his rebellion in Russia.

The Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko announced at the time that Prigozhin was on his way to Belarus, before he mentioned in the same statement that he was in the country.

The transfer of Wagner group to Belarus at the time came after talks that the Belarusian president held with Prigozhin, after coordination with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the latter’s approval of Lukashenko’s proposal to stop Wagner’s rebellion and take additional measures to reduce escalation.

Wagner’s rebellion on June 24 shook the Russian authority in the midst of the conflict in Ukraine.

For hours, fighters from Wagner occupied the general headquarters of the Russian army in Rostov, in southwestern Russia, and advanced hundreds of kilometers towards Moscow.

The rebellion ended on the evening of June 24 with an agreement stipulating that Prigozhin would move to Belarus, but the latter’s whereabouts remained unknown.

Prigozhin didn’t make any public statements since June 26.

Prigozhin confirmed that his rebellion wasn’t aimed at overthrowing the Russian leadership, but rather to save the Wagner Group from dismantling by the Russian army staff, which he accuses of incompetence in the Ukrainian conflict.

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