Yevgeny Prigozhin (C) with senior Russian defence officials inside the Russian military HQ in Rostov-on-Don
Yevgeny Prigozhin (center) is back with an audio message thanking Wagner supporters and promising "next victories." AFP


  • Prigozhin said the Wagner Group 'managed to achieve much'
  • The mercenary chief reiterated the 'March for Justice' was a protest instead of a coup
  • Belarus confirmed Prigozhin arrived in Belarus last week

Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has re-emerged following his failed insurrection, thanking his supporters and seemingly hinting at a comeback in the future.

"In the near future, I am sure that you will see our next victories at the front. Thanks guys!" the Wagner boss said in a voice message posted on Telegram, according to an English translation by Politico.

The Russian warlord said the Wagner Group "managed to achieve much," but he did not specify which achievements he was referring to. It is unknown when the audio was recorded.

Prigozhin reiterated that the mercenary group's "March of Justice" on June 24 was "aimed at fighting traitors and mobilizing our society." He previously defended the uprising, saying Wagner initiated the march "because of an injustice."

"We went to demonstrate our protest and not to overthrow power in the country," Prigozhin said in a previous audio message after his failed mutiny. He said the Russian military leadership was ineffective in the Ukraine war.

He also pointed out the fact that his troop met little resistance on their way to Moscow signified "serious problems with security on the whole territory of the country."

Prigozhin's latest comments emerged a day after his Russian media company, Patriot Media Group, shut its operations Sunday.

"I am announcing our decision to close down and to leave the country's information space," said Yevgeny Zubarev, director of RIA FAN news site, Patriot Media's most prominent outlet, Reuters reported. Zubarev did not provide a specific reason for the decision.

Two days before the announcement, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that the Kremlin's communications watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked media networks linked to Prigozhin, but no further details were provided.

Also on Sunday, Wagner Group announced it was suspending the recruitment of new fighters for a month, citing the mercenary troops' "temporary non-participation" in the Ukraine war and its relocation to Belarus, the Moscow Times reported.

It is unclear how the suspension of recruitment in Russia will affect the group's operations in other countries.

Prigozhin's exact whereabouts are still unknown, but Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed the Wagner boss arrived in Belarus last week to start his exile.

Lukashenko, a close ally of Moscow, brokered a deal between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prigozhin to end the brief mutiny by the mercenary group. The deal supposedly included dropping all charges against the Wagner leader and allowing him to go into exile in Belarus.

The Belarusian leader revealed he shared a cuss-laden phone call with Prigozhin the day the Wagner group launched the armed rebellion and convinced him to turn his 25,000-strong force back. He said Prigozhin sounded "completely euphoric" at the time.

Lukashenko also said he warned Prigozhin he could be "crushed like a bug" if he pursued the rebellion. He claimed he stopped Putin from ultimately destroying the Wagner Group.

However, some experts argue that instead of a "haven" for Prigozhin, Belarus may be a "trap." War experts with the nonprofit research group the Institute for the Study of War doubt whether Putin will stay true to the "promise" he made to Wagner fighters who moved to Belarus after the failed rebellion.

Meanwhile, another figure whose whereabouts are unknown after the Wagner uprising is Gen. Sergei Surovikin, commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

Multiple Russian media outlets reported that Surovikin was imprisoned following the Wagner uprising. One source told The Moscow Times that Surovikin was arrested because he "chose the side of Prigozhin." Surovikin's daughter, Veronika, reportedly told Telegram channel Baza that "nothing happened" to her father and he was "at the workplace."

Surovikin was last seen on a video message published after the Wagner Group started their march to Moscow wherein the Russian general called on Prigozhin to stop the mutiny.

The Russian government insists there is "astounding" support for Putin after the failed uprising. Moscow further insisted that the Putin regime wasn't weakened by the Wagner mutiny, as some analysts and other global governments have predicted.