Putin disappears after Wagner coup chaos


Vladimir Putin is hiding from public view as ‘cracks’ appear in his administration, with his propagandists furiously questioning how their leader allowed the Wagner Group to get so close to Moscow.

The Russian president has not been seen since he delivered an emergency message begging Russians not to join Yevgeny Prigozhin’s failed putsch, with officials saying he will not appear for a live broadcast.

As Putin faced the biggest threat to his 23-year-reign on Saturday, two presidential planes reportedly took off from Moscow before switching off their transponders en route to the Tver region, where Putin has a residence.

Kyiv accused the warmonger of running scared, while the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Wagner’s coup attempt showed ‘cracks emerging’ in the Russian administration.

Putin has remained tight-lipped on the embarrassing episode, and has only appeared on Russian airwaves in a pre-recorded interview, filmed days before the Wagner troops’ march towards Moscow.

As the country appeared on the brink of a coup yesterday, Putin told the Russian people:  ‘This is a stab in the back of our troops and the people of Russia… what we are facing now is treason.’

But, despite his forces marching up the M4 and claiming to have arrived 200km outside of Moscow, Prigozhin was the one to blink first, ordering his troops to turn around.

The Kremlin claimed he made a deal, brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, to be exiled to Belarus in return for mutiny charges against him being dropped.

But there has since been no sign of Putin’s ally-turned-adversary, and no indication that he has taken up the offer of refuge from Russia’s neighbour – with speculation that he may be fleeing to Africa or the Middle East.

Prigozhin was last seen being cheered out of Rostov-on-Don by locals after his troops stormed the Russian military headquarters there, and now Moscow media outlets are reporting that his whereabouts are ‘unknown’.

The outspoken mercenary boss has been uncharacteristically silent on social media and ‘out of contact’ since his final dramatic audio message telling his troops to stand down to avoid ‘spilling Russian blood’.

Prigozhin’s own press office appeared to be out of touch with their boss, telling Russian broadcaster RTVI this afternoon that he was ‘not available’.

‘He sends his regards to everyone and will answer questions when he has a normal [phone] connection,’ his team said.


Source: dailymail.co.uk


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