July 14, 2023 | 9:44 p.m
A racy photograph of Yevgeny Prigog in his underwear was leaked online on Friday, amid an apparent campaign to smear him following a failed mutiny by Wagner boss mercenaries under the regime of Vladimir Putin.
The image, which appeared in Russian-language chat rooms on the Telegram messaging app, shows a meek-looking Prigozhin waving at the camera while sitting on an unmade bed inside a large tent.
The mercenary leader’s white, form-fitting brown t-shirt hugs his gut tightly, his black drawers accentuate his lean, toned legs.
The metadata shows the photo was taken at 7:24 a.m. on June 12, 11 days before Prigozhin attempted to lead an armed uprising against Russian military leaders. According to the Telegraph.
It is not clear who took or leaked the image.
The picture is the latest in a string of leaked snaps showing the once-feared warrior in bizarre and brazen getups.
Six photos showing Prigozhin dressed in ludicrous disguises, complete with wigs and fake beards for his mercenary work abroad, were broadcast on a Russian state-controlled television station on Wednesday.
In one picture, Wagner can be seen sporting frontman Justin Bieber-esque side-swept bangs, while in another he’s accessorized with a long salt-and-pepper beard reminiscent of Sacha Baron Cohen’s character in “The Dictator.”
The string of leaked images appears to be part of an attempt by Vladimir Putin’s regime to discredit Prigozhin in the wake of his failed armed uprising.
Prigozhin marched on Moscow last month as part of a suspected plan to capture top Russian military leaders to demand a change in military leadership.
Prigozhin said the uprising was not aimed at the president, but other top officials.
After striking a deal with the Kremlin, the mercenary group’s boss eventually called off his short-lived insurgency.
After the surrender, Kremlin forces raided Prigozhin’s St. Petersburg mansion and office, where they found a roomful of state-of-the-art medical equipment, firearms, several passports, and nearly $111 million in cash and gold bars collected from his possessions.
Law enforcement officials shared their findings with state media in an effort to undermine Prigozhin’s image among the public, who saw him as a warrior on the front lines of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“Showcasing Prigozhin’s wealth is a way of undermining his anti-elite message among the public,” said Mary Klantz, senior adviser at the Russia and Europe Center at the U.S. Institute of Peace. told The Hill.
Putin branded Prigogine a traitor and denied that he was Wagner’s true leader.
Although the criminal case against the mercenary leader on sedition charges was later dropped, the President ensured a harsh sentence.
In a Thursday interview with business daily Kommersant, Putin said Wagner was “not easy,” saying he had given the group the option to stay put after the uprising — but Prigozhin rejected that idea.
With the post Wires