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NY Post
New York Post
1 Jul 2023

NextImg:Russia plans to kill Yevgeny Prigozhin after aborted mutiny: Ukrainian official

Russia is plotting to assassinate Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin after his aborted rebellion last month, the top Ukrainian spy official said.

The Russian Federal Security Service has been tasked with assassinating the now-exiled leader of the mercenary group, although the plan may not be carried out immediately, Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Directorate, told The War Zone.

“It will take them some time to have the proper approaches and to reach the stage when they’re ready to add a huge operation,” Budanov said. “But once again, I’d like to underline that it’s a big open question. Would they be successful in fulfilling that? Will they dare to to execute that order?”

Prigozhin is exiled in Belarus where he is staying with top-ranking members of his fighting force following the scrapped rebellion, Budanov said, adding that he did not foresee Prigozhin creating any problems for Ukraine in the future, because the mercenary group will be moving their operations to Africa.

Yevgeny Prigozhin is living in exile after the group’s failed coup.

“What is going to happen next is that the majority of personnel which was previously engaged in fighting in Ukraine will be step-by-step moved to Africa to build up operations there,” Budanov said.

Predictions that the Russian President Vladimir Putin is out for revenge have proliferated since the deal reached with Belarussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko.for Prigozhin’s exile. Ian Bremmer, president of the political risk analysis and consulting firm Eurasia Group, called the Wagner leader a “dead man walking.”

“Putin has imprisoned and assassinated people for far less than what Prigozhin has done to him,” Bremmer told CNBC. “It’s inconceivable to me that Putin will allow him to live any longer than is absolutely necessary.”

Meanwhile, Prigozhin’s Russian media group, The Patriot, has been shut down in the wake of the coup attempt.

The media group oversaw dozens of different news outlets and publications including People’s News and Economics Today and the Internet Research Agency, a company that runs online influence campaigns worldwide, and has been dubbed a “troll factory.”

While The Moscow Times reported that it was Prigozhin who shut down the publications, The Guardian said the Kremlin blocked the various publications’ websites.

Prigozhin has not publicly confirmed the shuttering of The Patriot media holdings.