Since the announcement of the withdrawal, nothing was known about the leader of the Wagnerian mercenaries. The Russian parliament has passed a law that will make it difficult for it to strategize, and Belarusian society has left a warning
Prigozhin announced on Saturday the withdrawal of its soldiers at 8:30 p.m. local time (two hours less in mainland Portugal). Since then, and until Monday afternoon, when he spoke again, nothing was known about the leader of the Wagner group, who was still seen by witnesses leaving the city of Rostov, not knowing for certain in which direction.
From there he may have returned to Ukraine, where he had embarked on a one-day ‘march for justice’, but he may also have flown to his only destination. given: Belarus.
Wherever Prigozhin is, former CIA director David Petraeus has already left him advice, in statements to CNN International, warning the head of the Wagner Group to be “very careful around open windows”, in reference to the death of dissidents in Russia or critics of the regime.
It was the Belarusian media themselves who communicated the departure of Prigozhin to the neighboring country, after negotiations for the end of the rebellion, guaranteed by the Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko.
At that time, it was promised that all charges against Prigozhin and his soldiers would be dropped, according to Russian justice, but now we know that is not the case (at least for now). After the news was initially reported by the independent newspaper Kommersant, Russian state media confirmed that the Russian prosecutor general’s office was still investigating the leader of the mercenaries.
Usually active on social networks, where for weeks and weeks he posted several videos chronicling the successes of the Wagner group in Ukraine or criticizing the Russian ministry for the lack of support and ammunition, Prigozhin remained silent on Telegram until to this Monday afternoon, deepening the mystery of where and how it will be.
If the destination is Belarus, the reception may not be the best. So says Lukashenko’s main opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who said that “the Belarusian army and Belarusian society will not accept” the mercenary.
“[Prigozhin] does not see Belarus as an independent nation,” the opponent said, through her adviser, Franak Viacorka, who spoke to CNN International.
The official stressed that the people of Belarus want peace, trade and prosperity, while Prigozhin wants “war, war, war, war at all times.”
“I don’t think it will be a comfortable shelter for him, and I don’t think he will stay in Belarus for long. I hope not, and we must do everything to get rid of it as soon as possible.he concluded.
Behind seems to be the possibility that the Wagner group will return to what it was. The conflict between Prigozhin and the Russian armed forces, with the Ministry of Defense in particular, began after the minister, Sergei Shoigu, announced that all paramilitary groups must enter into contracts with the government.
The Wagners were the only ones to refuse, and it cracked the veneer. Now, and in a clear message to Prigozhin’s soldiers and the mercenary himself, the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, has passed a law that in practice goes against the group.
According to the approved legislation, these companies will no longer be able to conclude contracts with convicted persons, contracts being concluded only with the Ministry of Defence.
A law that serves as a measure against the Wagner group, made up largely of former convicts and which was the only one of some 20 paramilitary groups to have refused to be under the tutelage of the Russian government, with which the total break is confirmed.