The head of Russia’s mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, posted a video of his first speech since leading the brief uprising in late June. Prigozhin appeared in a clip released on a Telegram channel affiliated with the Wagner group on Monday (21/8). The video was likely shot in an area in Africa.
Prigozhin is seen standing in a desert area with camouflage clothing and rifle in hand. In the distance, there were more gunmen and a pickup truck.
Reuters has not been able to pinpoint the location or verify the date of the video, but Prigozhin’s statements and several posts on pro-Wagner channels suggest it was shot in Africa.
“It’s +50 degrees Celsius here – all in our favor. PMC Wagner made Russia greater on all continents, and Africa freer. Justice and happiness to the people of Africa, we made life a nightmare for ISIS and Al-Qaeda and bandits -another bandit,” Prigozhin says in the video.
He later said Wagner was recruiting new members and his group “will fulfill its assigned tasks.” The video is accompanied by a phone number for those who wish to join the group.
The future for Wagner and Prigozhin has been uncertain since he led a brief mutiny against the Russian defenders in late June. The Kremlin said Prigozhin and some of his soldiers, who have fought some of the fiercest fighting of the Ukrainian war, would go to Belarus.
Since the uprising part of Wagner’s army has moved to Belarus and started training soldiers there. In a statement released at the end of July, Prigozhin also said Wagner was ready to increase its presence in Africa. (em/lt)