In Photos: Wagner’s Prigozhin pictures appear to be genuine

Ahram Online , Saturday 8 Jul 2023

Images of Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, found during a raid on his home, are likely genuine, despite appearing distorted due to being pictures of a digital screen, according to an analysis by The Guardian.

Russian security services claim they raided Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin s home. AP


Russian media, including popular state TV channel Russia 1, have shown video of searches of Prigozhin’s St. Petersburg offices and an opulent mansion he purportedly owned, complete with helipad and indoor swimming pool. They also showed a van with boxes of cash, as well as gold bars, wigs and weapons in the estate.

Some photos leaked by Russian security, allegedly taken from Prigozhin's own collection,  show him in various disguises including wigs. They include photos of the Wagner boss dressed in fatigues and a fake beard in front of flags of the Libyan national army, photos of him in a keffiyeh and brown beard and wig, and one of him in fatigues at what looks like a military airbase.

While the images – which circulated on social media earlier this week – were reportedly leaked to humiliate the mercenary leader, there has been speculation that they may have been doctored, The Guardian reported.

A preliminary assessment, by the British daily, however, indicates that the images were photographs of a digital device or screen such as a smartphone, due to the visible rainbow pixellation.

Pro-Kremlin online newspaper Izvestia posted a series of videos and photos from inside the mansion an photos were widely shared on social media including by the advisor to the minister of internal affairs of Ukraine


"In the photos, the level of granular details such as the wrinkles on Prigozhin’s forehead and frown lines, appear to be consistent across all the photos, with additional detailing of a pimple in one," the paper explained in its Friday edition.

It is unclear whether Prigozhin will move to Belarus, Moscow's closest ally, under a deal with the Kremlin to end Wagner’s mutiny which took place on 24 June. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday that Prigozhin is in Russia and his troops so far have remained at their home camps, raising new questions about the deal that ended the extraordinary challenge to President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

On 27 June, Russian authorities they have closed a criminal investigation into the armed rebellion led by Wagner chief, with no charges against him or any of the other participants.

The Federal Security Service, or FSB, said its investigation found that those involved in the mutiny “ceased activities directed at committing the crime.”

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