A week has now passed since Yevgeny Prigozhin’s aborted armed rebellion against Moscow erupted. So where is the Wagner chief now? What about Dmitry Medvedev?
Vladimir Putin survived the mutiny by Wagner Group fighters, but experts say his grip on power is now weakened. And a lot of questions remain unanswered.
Are shadowy moves and countermoves playing out behind the walls of the Kremlin? Are people manoeuvring in an unseen struggle for power?
What’s more, a number of key figures are still unaccounted for following Prigozhin’s failed power grab last weekend.
Yevgeny Prigozhin – Wagner boss… and new Belarus resident?
The hotdog vendor-turned-prison recruiter was allowed to go and live in Belarus and receive amnesty, along with his troops.
Well, according to the Kremlin that is. Confusion remains over whether he will face a criminal case for his defiance of Putin.
So where is he? A private jet linked to Prigozhin landed in the Belarussian capital, Minsk, on Wednesday morning, but it’s not clear if he was on board.
Earlier this week, he broke his silence in an 11-minute clip in which he defended his so-called “march for justice”.
“We started our march because of an injustice,” he said.
But explaining why the advance was abandoned, Prigozhin said he did not want to shed Russian blood – and insisted that he had no intention of overthrowing the government.
Prigozhin also insisted that he is still receiving words of support from civilians – and some of his fighters were greeted with flags.
General Sergei Surovikin – has Russia’s “savage” commander been arrested?
Regarded as a Soviet hero for his service in Afghanistan, Surovikin is now at the centre of questions over his whereabouts – and his allegiance.
Nicknamed “General Armageddon” by the Russian press for his aggressive tactics in the Syrian conflict, Surovikin has been serving as deputy commander of Russian forces in Ukraine.
As Prigozhin’s uprising unfolded, he called out to Wagner’s fighters telling them to return to base and obey Vladimir Putin.
A New York Times report, based on a US intelligence briefing, said on Tuesday he had advance knowledge of the mutiny and that Russian authorities were checking if he was complicit.
Now he is believed to have been detained, the Associated Press is reporting.
The White House and the Kremlin declined to comment.
It’s not clear whether Surovikin faces any charges or where he is being held, reflecting the opaque world of the Kremlin’s politics and uncertainty after the revolt.
Dmitry Medvedev – A sunny getaway in Oman?
The former Russian president has been among the most vocal supporters of the war in Ukraine, regularly making bold threats against the West.
During the Wagner march on Moscow, Medvedev warned of the risk of nuclear weapons falling into the mercenary group’s hands.
“The history of mankind hasn’t yet seen the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons under control by bandits,” he said.
“Such a crisis will not be limited by just one country’s borders, the world will be put on the brink of destruction.”
Medvedev is believed to have travelled to Oman in the aftermath of the crisis, but it remains unclear why.
He has not posted publicly on his Telegram for several days. In his last post, on Saturday, 24 June, he said the “most important thing” was to defeat “the external and internal enemy”.
“Split and betrayal – the path to the greatest tragedy, a universal catastrophe. We won’t allow it. The enemy will be defeated! Victory will be ours!”