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Pentagon suspects Head of Wagner Group has doubles - NYT

Pentagon suspects Head of Wagner Group has doubles - NYT Yevgeny Prigozhin (GettyImages)
Author: Maria Kholina

Leader of the Wagner Private Military Company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, may have doubles to camouflage his whereabouts, according to reports from The New York Times.

Background to the situation

Yesterday, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko claimed that Prigozhin was present on Russian territory.

"As of Thursday morning, he was in St. Petersburg, and then maybe he went to Moscow, maybe somewhere else, but he is not on the territory of Belarus," Lukashenko said.

Previously, it was Lukashenko himself who brokered a deal between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prigozhin to end the brief mutiny. At that time, it was reported that all charges against Prigozhin in Russia would be dropped, and he would "go" to Belarus.

The US Department of Defense's opinion

Speaking on condition of anonymity while discussing confidential intelligence information, a Pentagon official said that Prigozhin had spent most of his time in Russia following the mutiny.

"It is unclear whether he was in Belarus, partly because Prigozhin apparently uses doubles to conceal his movements," the official said.

Kremlin's response

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for the Russian dictator, evaded answering questions about Prigozhin's whereabouts, stating that the government neither has the means nor the desire to track his movements.

Prigozhin's mutiny

On June 24, the leader of the Wagner Private Military Company accused Russian forces of attacking his mercenaries' rear camps. Subsequently, he and his mercenaries set out to storm Moscow. In a day, they took control of Rostov, but they fell short of reaching Moscow by 200 kilometers.

It was later reported that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin may face new uprisings in the future due to his reaction to the mutiny led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner PMC.