The Belarusian President Alexanda Lukashenko told state news agency BeITA that he warned the former Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin that he “will be killed” after his failed mutiny on 23 June.
Lukashenko said that Prigozhin said that he wants “to die a hero” and that he dismissed that the dictator warned him his life is in danger on two separate occasions.
Lukashenko said, “I told him: ‘Zhenya [short for Yevgeny], do you realise that your people will be killed and you will be killed?’
He was enraged; he had come straight from the front: ‘To hell with it, let me be killed!’ So I told him: ‘Zhenya, let me send you a piece of rope and a bar of soap.’
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The Belarusian President claimed Prigozhin had replied, “No, no, no, I don’t want it to happen this way. I want to die a hero’.”
In another interview Lukashenko claimed that he did not offer security to Prigozhin and said, “I should not be the one in charge of Prigozhin’s security. That’s the first thing. Second, this was never even discussed.”
The Belarusian dictator said that Putin was not involved in the crash of the private jet as it was a “hack job.”
Lukashenko said, “I know Putin. He is a very measured, very calm even slow person, even when he makes decisions regarding less complicated issues.
“So I can’t imagine Putin did it or that Putin is to blame. It’s too much of a hack job, too unprofessional.”
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said that it is “highly likely” that Prigozhin is “indeed dead” following his failed mutiny against Putin.
The MoD cautioned that currently there is no “definitive proof” that Prigozhin was onboard his private jet which is believed to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile.
In the MoD’s daily intelligence update on Friday they said his presumed demise is credible and warned that his death will “almost certainly have a deeply destabilising effect” on his private military.”