Wagner’s boss Yevgeny Prigozhin appears to have resurfaced and is seen addressing his troops in a new video shared on the Russian mercenary leader’s social media page. His exact whereabouts are unknown, and there has been speculation as to whether he is in Belarus.

In the dark and grainy video shared on the Wagner leader’s Telegram page, the silhouette of a man resembling Prigozhin can be seen in an unknown location, greeting Wagner fighters in Belarus, CNN reported.

A mercenary apparently addressed Prigozhin as “Yevgeny Viktorovich,” which is Prigozhin’s given name and patronymic. While it was unclear when the video was filmed and if Prigozhin was actually the man in the video, it appears the footage was filmed at dusk on July 18, according to CNN.

The man who sounds like Prigozhin told his fighters to “really pay attention to the fact that the Belarusians welcomed us not only as heroes but also as brothers.” He said that what was happening on the front lines of the war in Ukraine was “an embarrassment that we need no part in,” adding that “the decision was made to station us here in Belarus for some time.”

“I am sure that during this time we will make the Belarusian army the second largest in the world. And if necessary, we will defend them if it comes to that, ”he added.

In addition to Prigozhin, Wagner’s commander, Dmitry Utkin, was also seen in the video, marking the first time he had appeared in public since 2016, a Washington, DC-based warfare think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote in an assessment report on Wednesday. “This is just the beginning of the bigger work that will soon take place,” Utkin was heard saying on the video.

The think tank said the video was likely shot on July 18 at Wagner’s new base near Asipovichy in Belarus.

CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh believes that Prigozhin’s revival, if true, could mean Wagner’s boss is abiding by the deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko between Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Under the deal, Prigozhin will be exiled to Belarus and charges against him for leading an armed rebellion against Russia last month will be dropped.

Prigozhin’s exact whereabouts are unknown, especially after Lukashenko claimed earlier this month that Wagner’s troops were not in Belarus. “If you’re looking for them, you won’t find them here,” he said at the time.

Richard Moore, head of Britain’s secret intelligence service MI6, told an event hosted by Politico that Prigozhin was “floating” around the country and that the deal with Putin “was holding up as far as we know.”

On Wagner’s failed coup on June 24, Moore said: “I don’t think it takes the full resources of MI6 to conclude that there are deep fractures within the Russian elite around Putin. If you have an invading army closing in on you, that indicates there has been a fight. “

Retired US General Mark Hertling said last week that Putin would not jail Prigozhin for his failed mutiny, as he needs the latter’s “charisma” to deal with military forces aiding Russia in various countries. “They [Wagner’s troops] are on several continents, attacking in several countries: Syria, the Middle East, Africa. So Mr. Putin cannot afford to lose this guy,” he added.

Earlier this month, Prigozhin posted an audio message on Telegram thanking Wagner’s supporters while pledging that the mercenary group will return to the front “in the near future.”

Marvie Basilan