Wagner’s chief Prigogine was ‘being treated for stomach cancer and felt he had nothing to lose when he decided to start a rebellion’
The leader of the Wagner group turned his forces against the Russian army on 23 June
Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigogine’s battle with cancer may have played a role in his decision to launch an apparent rebellion against Moscow, a report has claimed.
Proekt, a Russian outlet now banned by Russia, originally cited claims by Prigozhin’s former employees that he had undergone cancer treatment.
They said that after a long period of ‘severe therapy’, his stomach cancer is now in remission.
A former operative said the move toward Moscow late last month showed the mentality of a man who can’t afford to lose.
Asked what might have prompted the armed uprising, an anonymous source said: ‘It’s a man with his stomach and intestines cut open!’
In several public videos, Prigogine expressed his displeasure with the Russian military’s actions
Fighters of the Wagner private mercenary group, including Roman Yamalutdinov (L), leave the headquarters of the Southern Military District to return to base, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, June 24, 2023
A former employee said: ‘[Prigozhin] What was cancer now seems to have stopped the tumor making process.’
They recall the PMC leader following a strict diet and drinking only one glass of lemonade.
A ‘white powder’ was found during a raid at his home, but they denied seeing him take drugs.
‘Since he first fell ill and then recovered, he forbade everyone to have contact with drug traffickers in Africa or Syria.
‘They’ll throw you in a hole.’
Other former employees recalled how Prigogine ‘beat’ his staff.
The leader’s revolt, which began on June 23, was billed as a ‘March for Justice’ aimed at removing Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov from their posts.
Prigogine has clashed with the Russian National Armed Forces throughout the war, while sending his private mercenaries to the frontline to die.
The thrust made rapid progress, captured Rostov and crossed into Russian territory.
Six Russian army helicopters and one plane were reportedly shot down in the clash.
But the uprising did not succeed in its objectives, as Prigogine negotiated peace through Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko before reaching Moscow.
All charges against the leader of the Wagner Group were eventually dropped to allow him to travel to Belarus.
Vladimir Putin (left) is pictured with Yevgeny Prigozhin (right), who was once called ‘Putin’s chef’ because his catering companies provided services for the Kremlin
Ukrainian firefighters continue to rescue bodies from under the rubble of the Ria Pizza restaurant after a missile strike in downtown Kramatorsk as Ukrainian counter-offensives continue in Donetsk region, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, June 28, 2023
It was reported earlier this week that Vladimir Putin has held secret talks with Prigogine in the Kremlin since the uprising.
An unannounced session was held on June 29 and attended by 35 people, including top Kremlin and Prigozhin commanders, the Kremlin acknowledged.
French publication Liberation had previously claimed the meeting had taken place, citing secret service sources, but put the date on July 1.
The details of the meeting are not known. But the only thing we can say is, the president has given his assessment of the company [Wagner] Actions during special military operations, and evaluation of their actions during June 24,’ the report said.