Russian mercenary boss Prigozhin resurfaces in African video message

A new video of the Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has surfaced on the internet, around two months after his short-lived uprising against the Kremlin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of Russian private mercenary group Wagner, gives an address in camouflage and with a weapon in his hands in a desert area at an unknown location, in this still image taken from video possibly shot in Africa and published August 21, 2023.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of Russian private mercenary group Wagner, gives an address in camouflage and with a weapon in his hands in a desert area at an unknown location, in this still image taken from video possibly shot in Africa and published August 21, 2023.  © PMC Wagner via Telegram via REUTERS

The 40-second clip, which shows Prigozhin in camouflage and holding a rifle, was recorded in an African country, the Telegram channel Grey Zone, which is close to the mercenary group Wagner, said on Monday evening.

There was no independent confirmation of the video and no additional information about when or where it was filmed.

"We are working. Temperature +50. Everything we love," Prigozhin said in the video.

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"The Wagner Group conducts reconnaissance and search activities. Makes Russia even greater on all continents! And Africa even more free. Justice and happiness for the African peoples. Nightmare of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other gangsters. We hire real heroes and continue to fulfill the tasks that were set and to which we made a promise that we would do it," the Wagner boss said.

The Russian mercenaries are active in several African states.

Prigozhin led truncated revolt attempt against Kremlin

Prigozhin's fighters had been campaigning alongside the regular Russian army for many months in Moscow's war in Ukraine, which began in February 2022.

At the end of June, Prigozhin mobilized his men for a march on Moscow out of frustration with what he saw as the ineffectiveness of the Russian military leadership, but stopped it a few hours later following negotiations.

The Kremlin reportedly promised Prigozhin immunity from prosecution, one of the conditions for an amnesty being his departure for neighboring Belarus. Prigozhin reportedly reappeared in Russia on the fringes of the Africa Summit in St. Petersburg at the end of July.

Recently, Western governments have expressed concern that the West African country of Niger could now move closer to Russia following a military coup in July, which Prigozhin said he welcomed.

Cover photo: PMC Wagner via Telegram via REUTERS

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