Wagner chief, who sent out a series of audio and video updates during his revolt, has gone silent since the Kremlin announced that the deal had been brokered.
A former CIA director has sounded alarm bells for the mercenary leader who led the revolt against Russian President Vladimir Putin only to call it off within 24 hours in a dramatic U-turn. Speaking on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’, retired Gen. David Petraeus said the Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin should be “very careful around open windows,” in an apparent reference to the number of prominent Russians who have died in unclear circumstances.
“Prigozhin kept his life but lost his Wagner Group,” Petraeus said. “And he should be very careful around open windows in his new surroundings in Belarus, where he’s going.”
As part of the deal to stop the march on Moscow, the mercenary leader has agreed to go into exile in neighboring Belarus, whose leader, Aleksandr Lukashenko, is a staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Belarus President Lukashenko has also taken credit for brokering a deal between the marching mercenaries and Kremlin.
There are still no reports of Prigozhin arriving in Belarus after he reached a deal with the Kremlin to go into exile, and the mercenary leader has gone silent since the U-turn.
Several critics of Putin have died under mysterious circumstances, including in falls from windows, since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The chairman of the board of Russia’s largest private oil company, which criticized Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, fell out of a hospital window in September of last year.
While the quick pardon for Prigozhin appeared to show Putin’s weakness, many of those who have opposed or betrayed Putin have met their deaths months or years later, some even after leaving Russia.
The armed rebellion by Prigozhin sparked Russia’s largest political crisis in decades. Russian authorities did not report any human losses, even though Wagner claimed to have shot down several aircraft.