A video of Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin released this week shows the leader claiming his group does not plan to fight in Ukraine.
The leader's video appearance is his first since a brief mutiny against Russia weeks ago.
Prigozhin appears publicly for first time since mutiny, suggests mercenaries won't fight in Ukraine https://t.co/9qhlZ2Dp9S
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 19, 2023
"Welcome guys. I am happy to greet you all. Welcome to the Belarusian land. We fought with dignity. We have done a lot for Russia," he said in the video (translated).
What is going on the front line today is a shame in which we shouldn’t take part. We may return to the special military operation when we feel sure that we will not be forced to put shame on ourselves," he added.
Video appears to show Wagner boss Prigozhin in Belarus https://t.co/OdmSTDG0Qj
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 19, 2023
"The video also appears to confirm a statement by Belarus that Wagner fighters were now acting as military instructors for the country's army," the BBC reported.
"In the video, Prigozhin says that the fighters 'put up a worthy fight' in Ukraine and had 'done a great deal' for Russia, and strongly criticizes the current conduct of the war," it added.
The Wagner Group leader also noted plans to soon take his soldiers to Africa rather than serving in Ukraine with Russia's military.
The video comes after Prigozhin previously worked under Putin's leadership during the early stages of the Ukraine invasion.
The Wagner Group later turned against Russia, launching a brief attempt to mutiny against Putin's leadership before striking an agreement and leaving with his mercenaries to Belarus.
The latest update notes that the group plans to no longer play a role in Ukraine but could still be a concern in the days ahead through its future actions.