Highlights: Yevgeny Prigozhin had to leave Russia after his failed uprising in front of Moscow at the end of June. Employees of the finance department allegedly specialize in "collecting cardboard oaks" and withholding the pay of fighters killed in Ukraine. Employees would even steal phones in his absence, which they would then sell on the Internet. On Monday, the 62-year-old Wagner boss sent a sign of life, saying: "We are working. The temperature is more than 50 degrees"
Chaotic conditions are said to prevail at the headquarters of the Wagner mercenaries in St. Petersburg, Russia, while Yevgeny Prigozhin is apparently in exile in Africa.
Saint Petersburg - In the Ukraine war, nothing and no one was safe from its marauding hordes in the Donbass. Now, in Russia's second-largest city, the headquarters of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin himself is apparently looted after the disgraced military entrepreneur had to leave St. Petersburg (around five million inhabitants).
Yevgeny Prigozhin: In the headquarters of the Wagner mercenaries, things are supposed to go haywire
This is reported by the Russian Telegram channel "VChK-OGPU", which is said to be close to the Wagner Private Army (PMC), according to the news portal t-online. "Since the mutiny, the state of affairs in Prigozhin's company has been quite deplorable," the channel quotes an unnamed source from the PMC.
While doubts about Moscow's ruler Vladimir Putin's war course are said to be growing in Russia, things are probably going haywire 700 kilometers northwest, in St. Petersburg, at the Wagner headquarters. Employees would even steal phones in Prigozhin's absence, according to the Telegram post, which they would then sell on the Internet.
Had to leave Russia after his failed uprising: Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin. © IMAGO/Elena Kopylova
What's more, according to VChK-OGPU, Prigozhin's deputy, Valery Chekalov, was informed and did nothing. Employees of the finance department allegedly specialize in "collecting cardboard oaks" and withholding the pay of fighters killed in Ukraine. "In some departments, the number of such 'zero' employees amounts to 30 to 40 people," VChK-OGPU quotes the source as saying, according to t-online.
Wagner mercenaries from Russia: employees allegedly loot headquarters in St. Petersburg
"Because of his passion for his personal advertising, the CEO has stopped controlling the work of his employees," the post continues. Employees of the internal security service would therefore ask the management for particularly high budgets for surveillance cameras and reconnaissance drones for the PMC, which is still active in several African countries despite the failed uprising in front of Moscow at the end of June.
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We know Putin's vindictiveness. Therefore, it can be assumed that Prigozhin drastically reduced his lifetime.
Eastern Europe expert Prof. Dr. Klaus Gestwa at IPPEN. MEDIA
"Prigozhin provides the budget and receives forged, printed checks as receipt. In fact, nothing is bought," the source explained. On June 24, Russian security forces cordoned off and searched the headquarters in St. Petersburg, ostensibly to gather evidence against Prigozhin when he and a few thousand mercenaries briefly threatened the power of Kremlin autocrat Putin. Since then, the lettering of the military company above the building has disappeared.
Yevgeny Prigozhin: signs of life of the Wagner boss from Africa?
It was only on Monday that the 62-year-old Prigozhin sent a sign of life. Two months after his failed mutiny, he reportedly reported from Africa. On the Telegram channel "Grey Zone", which is close to the Wagner Group, he showed himself in a video. When and where the recordings were made cannot be independently verified. Prigozhin, dressed in camouflage and with a machine gun in his hands, said: "We are working. The temperature is more than 50 degrees." His Wagner mercenaries would carry out reconnaissance and search operations, he said: "It makes Russia even bigger on all continents. And Africa even freer."
Company of evil: the Wagner headquarters in St. Petersburg, Russia. © IMAGO/Valentina Pevtsova
Yevgeny Prigozhin: Wagner boss must fear Vladimir Putin
A bluff? His new task? After thousands of Wagner mercenaries were initially sent into exile in Belarus after the attempted coup, many of Prigozhin's people have apparently left Belarus in the past two weeks. NATO member Poland immensely strengthened its army on the border with Belarus out of concern about the Wagner PMC, while in the neighborhood the Russian war of aggression against the Ukrainians continues with undiminished severity.
According to an expert, Prigozhin, meanwhile, must fear Russia's ruler Putin. "We know Putin's vindictiveness. Therefore, it can be assumed that Prigozhin drastically reduced his lifetime. However, an attack on him is still politically risky because he continues to have advocates in the Russian security apparatus," historian and Eastern Europe expert Prof. Dr. Klaus Gestwa from the University of Tübingen recently explained Merkur.de IPPEN. MEDIA: "The time will come to try to kill him by secret service means. If Putin accuses someone of treason, it will have consequences in the medium or long term." (pm)