Russian President Vladimir Putin has held secret talks at the Kremlin with the Wagner warlord who staged an armed mutiny against his regime, according to Western intelligence sources, a media report said.
The unannounced session took place on July 1, a week after the revolt by Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenary army, according to French publication Liberation, which cited secret service sources, Daily Mail reported.
Since the alleged meeting, Prigozhin appears to be remaining in Russia rather than forced into exile in neighbouring Belarus as seemed his fate earlier.
The claims about a sensational head-to-head between Putin and Prigozhin come amid a chilling separate theory that the Wagner boss may be tasked with using his armed force to assassinate Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky -- and 'bring his head' to the Kremlin, Daily Mail reported.
Prigozhin may seek to carry out 'some great atrocity for the benefit of Russia' to work his way back in with the Putin regime after his armed revolt aimed at toppling Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Defence Staff Valery Gerasimov, said one of Moscow's most-respected editors, Nobel prize-winner Dmitry Muratov, Daily Mail reported.
"I think [Yevgeny Prigozhin] may not ask for forgiveness [from Putin]," Muratov, who runs the pioneering investigative news outlet Novaya Gazeta, told Zhivoy Gvozd in his YouTube show.
"But he may commit some great atrocity for the benefit of Russia. He may try to organise an assassination attempt on [Volodymyr] Zelensky and bring the head of the President of Ukraine to the Kremlin. He must do something that will take away the taste of what Putin called ''a stab in the back of Russia'," Muratov said.
In the wake of the aborted armed mutiny on June 24, Putin swiftly withdrew threats to charge Prigozhin with treason and leading an insurrection.