Tue. Sep 26th, 2023


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Terrified Vladimir Putin ramps up security and ‘plots deadly revenge purge’

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Vladimir Putin slams ‘treason’ from Wagner mercenary group

Vladimir Putin is believed to be planning to take revenge on the men he suspects of plotting his downfall after last week’s mutiny in Russia.

The Russian President is understood to have boosted his personal security and is drawing up plans for a bloody purge after being left badly rattled by Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s military convoy, which got within barely 100 miles of the capital, Moscow, before it was abruptly aborted.

Defence officials regarded as being too close to the 62-year-old mercenary chief leader may also be “disappeared”, insiders claim.

Senior Wagner Group executives and oligarchs are also thought to have been earmarked for liquidation.

READ MORE: Entire Russian state facing ‘collapse’ as chaos for Putin ‘not over’, MP warns[ANALYSIS]

Speaking to the Mirror, a western security source said: “There is an increasing belief that Prigozhin will be gone in months, if not sooner, and many others as well.

“He was allowed to go to Belarus to shut him up.

“It is possible he’ll be allowed to get comfortable in Minsk then be dealt with, as Putin has a great deal of leverage with the Belarus authorities.

“But we also believe some of the oligarchs may have been aware of what Prigozhin was doing.

The source added: “They may have even supported it and then removed that support at some point.

“Many senior people in Russia have disappeared or fallen out of hotel windows before the war in Ukraine and during it.

“In the coming days and weeks we are likely to see more of this activity.

“A lot of people are now very scared and Putin is determined to wipe out any hint of insurrection, while desperately trying to mend the cracks in his strongman image.”

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Prigozhin, owner of the private army of inmate recruits and other mercenaries that has fought some of the deadliest battles in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is in Belarus after his abortive armed rebellion against the Kremlin, Belarus’s president said Tuesday.

The exile to Belarus of the 62-year-old owner of the Wagner Group was part of the deal that ended the short-lived mutiny in Russia. He and some of his troops would be welcome to stay “for some time” at their own expense, President Alexander Lukashenko said.

The Russian Defence Ministry said preparations are under way for Wagner to hand over its heavy weapons to the Russian military.

Prigozhin had said his troops were preparing to turn over their weapons ahead of a July 1 deadline for them to sign contracts to serve under the Russian military’s command.

Ukraine: Prigozhin claims death toll is higher than official reports

Russian authorities yesterday confirmed they have closed a criminal investigation into the uprising and are pressing no charges against Prigozhin or his troops after a negotiated deal.

The Federal Security Service, or FSB, said its investigation found those involved in the mutiny, which lasted less than 24 hours, “ceased activities directed at committing the crime”.

Nevertheless, Putin appeared to set the stage for charges of financial wrongdoing against an affiliated organisation owned by Prigozhin.

He told a military gathering Prigozhin’s Concord Group earned £743million (80 billion rubles) from a contract to provide the military with food, and that Wagner had received more than £800million (86 billion rubles) in the last year for wages and additional items.

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