Did Yevgeny Prigozhin just disappear from double-talking Putin?

On Saturday night, as his heavily armed mercenaries approached Moscow, Yevgeny Prigozhin abruptly announced that he would end his uprising after a negotiated settlement that would allow him to escape peacefully.

Nothing has been heard from him since then.

The endless chatter on the Telegram channel of his press service has stopped, there is nowhere to be seen from the Wagner boss.

After one of the most extraordinary days in modern Russian history, in which Prigozhin seized the military’s southern command headquarters in Rostov-on-Don before a column of his fighters sped toward Moscow with virtually no obstruction, it was announced that the former Putin confidant would be granted an amnesty and permission to go into exile in Belarus.

Prigozhin – who cemented his notorious reputation by leading the world’s most bloodthirsty mercenary army – laughingly said the deal was made to ensure no “blood was spilled,” even though his men had already shot down several Russian helicopters and a military plane, According to reports from Russian military bloggers and the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, up to 39 Russians were killed.

The media-savvy Prigozhin himself gave no details of the agreement negotiated in talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. It was reported in the Russian press that the agreement stipulated that his men would be spared to take part in combat in Ukraine again on behalf of the Ministry of Defense and that the Wagner chief would receive amnesty for his treacherous mutiny and allow him to fight in to drive Ukraine Sunset.

There were early indications Monday morning that the deal may not have been made in good faith. Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reported that the criminal case against Prigozhin had in fact not been dropped. The official state news agency TASS soon confirmed that the investigation into the mutiny that humiliated President Vladimir Putin was still ongoing.

A source from the Prosecutor General’s Office was quoted as saying: “The criminal case against Prigozhin has not been dropped. The investigations are ongoing.”

Prigozhin faces 20 years in prison.

Even loyal Kremlin propagandists were furious that Putin appeared to have let Prigozhin get away with turning on his own military and exposing the Kremlin’s weakness. The Daily Beast reported that the flagship propaganda show Sunday evening with Vladimir Solovyov was abhorred by such an act of forbearance on the part of the President.

“I firmly believe that in war traitors must be destroyed! “Today, a bullet in the forehead is the only salvation for Prigozhin, no matter who says what, whatever fairy tales they tell,” said State Duma deputy Andrei Gurulev, a retired army officer. “Treason can never be forgiven under any circumstances!”

That Prigozhin could get away with such a fundamental offense was all the more confusing when Putin personally pledged to hit back vigorously in an address to the nation on Saturday morning. “Anyone who knowingly chose the path of treason, who prepared armed mutiny, who chose the path of extortion and terrorist actions will inevitably be punished.” They will answer to the law and to our people,” he said. “Our measures to defend the fatherland from such a threat will be brutal.”

There was a lot of confusion on Saturday night as to why it was Lukashenko who negotiated relegation with Prigozhin. Another sign of Putin’s weakness was that he himself was unable to deal with his former contract caterer.

Perhaps it would make more sense for Putin to outsource the negotiations if he had no intention of honoring the agreement, although such a slippery and duplicitous approach would do little to bolster the Russian leader’s faltering reputation as a strongman who suffered a decisive blow here, recover weekend.

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