France is out of Africa: The last French stronghold has fallen – Coup d’état in Niger with Wagner flavor – Advisor Putin: “The country is now ours”!
Russia caught Macron asleep – He threw France out of Africa for good
Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has been spotted at the Russia-Africa summit which kicked off Thursday in St. Petersburg, and which is being hosted by President Vladimir Putin.
“Spotted” is an understatement, given he’s apparently posing with African officials and delegates, looking quite comfortable and content, despite it being a mere month after launching a failed mutiny which supposedly got him “exiled” to Belarus (or at least initially). This appears to be taking place on the sidelines of the summit, possibly at an adjacent hotel.
Wagner’s Yevgeny Prigozhin appears to be at the Russia-Africa summit, despite having supposedly been exiled to Belarus after his failed mutiny.
— max seddon (@maxseddon) July 27, 2023
Politico is confirming that “In two pictures circulated on social media Thursday, Prigozhin is shown wearing casual jeans and a white shirt, smiling as he presses the flesh with visiting officials.”
“In the first picture, posted to Facebook by an Africa-based aide, Prigozhin shakes hands with a suited-up African delegate,” Politico notes of the evidence showing his presence at the summit. “According to the watchdog All Eyes on Wagner, the African official is chief of protocol to Faustin Touadera, the president of the Central African Republic.”
The FSB within days after the short-lived uprising announced that it dropped its criminal investigation into Prigozhin because “its participants [Wagner fighters] ceased the activities directly aimed at committing the crime.”
Addressing troops within a week after the events of June 23-34, Putin underscored the seriousness of Wagner’s actions: “You have de-facto stopped the civil war, you acted in a clear and well-coordinated manner in a difficult situation,” Putin had said, also confirming Russian pilot and troop deaths, which some reports put at up to a dozen killed.
The whole hugely consequential episode also resulted in Putin publicly disclose that Wagner had long been supplied and financed from the state budget and Defense Ministry. This large investment perhaps explains why the group became so indispensable to operations in Ukraine. Reportedly corruption probes are ongoing.
But what’s also become more than clear is Prigozhin’s power and indispensability. Weeks after attempting a coup against the country’s defense ministry leadership, he’s hobnobbing with African dignitaries at the very summit hosted by Putin. Likely there are Russian defense ministry officials present at the Petersburg summit as well.
Is Prigozhin already back in Putin’s good graces? Or perhaps he was never really seen by Putin as an “enemy” to begin with in relation to the mutiny… The Prigozhin saga, and the myriad of unanswered questions, continues.
More pictures of Prigozhin in St Petes, posing here with the head of the Cameroonian edition of Afrique Media, a pro-Russian tv outlet. Prigozhin appears to be meeting guests at his Trezzini hotel parallel to the summit. Kremlin is unwilling or unable to get rid of him pic.twitter.com/ntUazaYJqF
— Pjotr Sauer (@PjotrSauer) July 27, 2023
The FT’s Max Seddon writes, “The warlord’s continued presence in Russia indicated Prigozhin remains an important part of the Kremlin establishment, from which President Vladimir Putin has so far proved reluctant or unable to disentangle him.” It should also be noted that Wagner has vast dealings, income, and contracts across Africa.