Vladimir Putin has humiliated Yevgeny Prigozhin after his failed uprising in Russia as state media leaked images that appeared to show the Wagner chief wearing a set of laughable disguises.
One disguise shows Prigozhin as an employee of the ministry of defence in Sudan, while in another he is disguised as an assistant diplomat from Abu Dhabi.
Others show him posing as various military figures from Libya and Syria, and the mercenary leader is seen making odd faces in several selfie shots that appeared on pro-Kremlin Telegram channels.
The guises were allegedly discovered at Prigozhin’s St. Petersburg mansion, which was ransacked by Putin’s officers on June 24 after the Wagner chief’s aborted mutiny against Russia’s defence ministry.
Russian reports claimed Prigozhin wore the disguises in Africa and the Middle East as he furthered Putin’s interests and deployed Wagner forces. Although the Wagner Group officially operates as a private company, several individuals who helped to found it are tied to the GRU.
The poor quality of some disguises led to speculation on some Telegram channels that they may have been doctored in an attempt to further discredit the Wagner chief.
But Prigozhin’s supporters declared the leaking of the images may flout Russia’s strict national security laws if they were in fact real disguises used by Prigozhin abroad.
Ukrainian commentators meanwhile wasted no time in ridiculing the Wagner leader, with Kyiv government official Anton Gerashchenko writing: ‘These are not shots from a casting for a role in a cheap comedy, but a selfie of Prigozhin.
‘In most of the pictures, yesterday’s ”Hero of Russia” is in Libyan uniform with Libyan epaulettes and elements of conspiracy.’
Photos purporting to show Prigozhin wearing the wigs as part of various disguises were leaked to state-backed Russian Telegram channels
Prigozhin’s backers say he was likely working as a state agent and that the leaking of these images flouts Russia’s security laws
Prigozhin is purportedly seen wearing various disguises in these images leaked to Telegram
Police uncovered closet containing many different wigs of varying styles and colours
Investigators who searched Prigozhin’s property also discovered huge caches of assault weapons and ammunition, stashes of gold bars, a stuffed alligator and a framed photo which is purported to show the severed heads of the exiled private military leader’s enemies, according to images published by Izvestia.
It comes after the warlord launched what appeared to be an armed insurrection against Putin less than two weeks ago – which was soon halted after Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko helped to broker a deal to end the conflict.
Lukashenko today claimed that Prigozhin had returned to St Petersburg – although the location of the Wagner chief is not officially known.
‘As far as Prigozhin is concerned, he is in Saint Petersburg… He is not in Belarus,’ Lukashenko told reporters from foreign media outlets.
Speaking in the presidential palace in Minsk, Lukashenko said he knew ‘for sure’ that Prigozhin was a free man, adding: ‘I spoke to him on the phone yesterday.’
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: ‘We are not following his movements,’ in response to Lukashenko’s claim Prigozhin had returned to St. Petersburg.
Lukashenko said he was ‘not worried or concerned’ about hosting Wagner troops in his country and said they could instead be an asset.
‘I do not think that Wagner will rise up and turn its guns against the Belarusian state,’ he said.
‘If we need to activate these units, we will activate them immediately and their experience will be very much appreciated.’
While Prigozhin’s exact whereabouts remain unknown, the images showing Russian officers rifling through the Wagner chief’s house suggest he remains persona non-grata in Russia following his coup attempt.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has been humiliated by Vladimir Putin for his failed uprising in Russia
During a raid on Prigozhin’s St Petersburg palace, Russian security services are said to have found a stuffed alligator displayed on a table
A framed photo which is purported to show the severed heads of exiled private military leader Prigozhin’s enemies
A huge cache of weapons, including assault rifles and ammunition, was found by security services inside the Wagner founder’s home
Images from the raid released by Russia show a grand piano at the foot of a sweeping staircase
A photograph published in Izvestia shows a spa and sauna room, lit by a chandelier
Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko claims Prigozhin has returned to St Petersburg
A giant sledgehammer with the inscription ‘For use in important negotiations’ was photographed on display near a snooker table in a reception room of the mansion.
A large number of boxes containing Russian bank notes worth around £86million (10billion rubles) were also seized in raids on Prigozhin’s estate, which includes his office building.
Russian media reports that the money and equipment have since been returned to the office and the Wagner Centre.
Among the private military leader’s valuable possessions photographed in his luxurious palace home was a Russian military uniform decorated with around two dozen medals.
Also on display in his lavish home was what appears to be a stuffed alligator on a table.
Several passports were found and photographed.
Video shows officers armed with assault rifles searching through his home and offices.
Photos also revealed the luxury Prigozhin lived in, revealing his private swimming pool, helipad, sauna, gym and a medical office.
The house also appears to have its own private prayer room, full of religious imagery.
In his first comments since his exile, the Wagner chief earlier this week vowed his fighters will soon have ‘new victories’ as images emerged of the mercenaries’ new camp in Belarus.
Russian security services raiding the estate and offices of exiled Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin
Huge caches of weapons found at the Wagner leader’s estate by police
Gold bars were among the riches found by police in Prigozhin’s mansion
A giant sledgehammer with the inscription ‘For use in important negotiations’ was photographed on display near a snooker table in a reception room of the mansion
Prigozhin’s private swimming pool in his St Petersburg palace, complete with a tiny slide
An opulent reception area of Prigozhin’s home, which was captured on video by Russian police
The house also appears to have its own private prayer room, full of religious imagery
A luxurious living area in the mansion, complete with a huge cinematic TV on the left
Among the private military leader’s valuable possessions photographed in his palace was a Russian military uniform decorated with around two dozen medals
Huge amounts of cash in various currencies was found in Prigozhin’s offices, reported to be worth around £86million (10billion rubles)
Several passports were also found and photographed inside Prigozhin’s home.
‘Our march of justice was aimed at fighting traitors and mobilising society,’ Prigozhin said in a short audio message posted to the Wagner-affiliated Greyzone Telegram channel on Tuesday.
‘And I think that we succeeded in much of this. In the near future, I am sure that you will see our next victories at the front.’
Prigozhin gave no clue to his whereabouts, and the fact that the clip is an audio recording marks a change from the video messages he made to address his forces prior to their failed mutiny attempt on June 24.
Since the failed insurrection, Prigozhin – a once popular figure among Russians – has faced a wave of criticism.
Russian state media, which once hailed him and his fighters for their brutal, hard-line campaign in Ukraine, has attacked him for his perceived betrayal of President Putin and has ceased broadcasting news about Wagner and Prigozhin’s predicament.
Yevgeny Prigozhin (left) assists Vladimir Putin (centre) during a dinner with foreign scholars and journalists at the restaurant Cheval Blanc on the premises of an equestrian complex outside Moscow in November 2011
These are the first pictures to have emerged of the Wagner mercenary army’s new base in Russia’s autocratic neighbour Belarus. Giant tents have been set up as barracks for the armed force that marched against Putin’s regime
I am Rakesh Sharma, I associated with Elite News as an Editor, since 2021. I take care of all the news operations like content, budget, hiring and policy making.