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Russian State TV Broadcasts Prigozhin Estate Raid, Claims Probe Into Mutiny Ongoing

Selfies discovered by police of Prigozhin posing in various disguises.

Russian authorities are still investigating Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin over his failed mutiny last month despite the Kremlin’s promise to drop the criminal charges against him, state television reported late Wednesday.

“Nobody planned to close this case,” journalist Eduard Petrov said on a state-run political talk show, referring to Prigozhin as a “traitor.”

Petrov did not provide evidence to back up his claim, which could not be immediately verified. On June 27, the FSB said it had closed the criminal mutiny case against the Wagner founder. 

Images broadcast on the talk show showed police entering Prigozhin's St. Petersburg residence — a vast and luxurious mansion with a helicopter parked on the grounds — reportedly on June 25.

Russian authorities have intensified their efforts to undermine the reputation of the businessman turned mercenary leader amid the fallout of his aborted mutiny, revealing Prigozhin's opulent lifestyle that contrasts with the public image of a crusader against corruption he had sought to create.

Photos broadcast Wednesday night showed police discovering wads of rubles and dollars, gold bars, assault weapons, a closet full of wigs and several passports in Prigozhin's name but with photos of different people.

Other findings included souvenir sledgehammers, which came to symbolize the brutality of Wagner mercenaries after videos claiming to show fighters bludgeoning traitors to death emerged online last year. 

Photographs of Prigozhin wearing disguises were circulated by Kremlin-linked Telegram channels, the “Ostorozhno, Novosti” outlet reported. It was claimed Prigozhin had used the disguises to pose as a Sudanese defense official, a Libyan officer and a UAE diplomat.

During Wednesday night’s talk show, journalist Petrov disputed reports from earlier this week that police had returned 10 billion rubles ($111 million), “hundreds of thousands” of U.S. dollars, five gold bars and a cache of weapons to Prigozhin.

“It’s going to get interesting in the coming days and hours,” he said, suggesting that public attacks against Prigozhin would continue. 

AFP contributed to this report.

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