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Putin watched festival from aboard yacht during Prigozhin's mutiny

Saturday, 1 July 2023, 18:30
Putin watched festival from aboard yacht during Prigozhin's mutiny
VLADIMIR PUTIN, Photo: Contributor/Getty Images

According to Russian journalists, on the day of the Wagner Group mutiny, Russian President Vladimir Putin watched the Alye Parusa (Scarlet Sails) festival in St Petersburg from aboard a yacht owned by businessman Yuriy Kovalchuk. 

Source: Novaya Gazeta Europe, with reference to information from journalists Mikhail Zygar and Yulia Taratuta 

Details: Mikhail Zygar, a political journalist and former editor-in-chief of the Dozhd TV channel, wrote in a column for The New York Times that Putin never misses a graduation party in his hometown, and this year was no exception, despite the situation with Yevgeny Prigozhin. 


According to Zygar, on 24 June, Putin watched the Scarlet Sails festival from aboard a yacht owned by his friend, businessman Yuriy Kovalchuk. 

The journalist's sources say this is the clearest evidence that the Russian president is detached from reality.

"He still believes that he has everything under control and that Prigozhin's rebellion had no effect on the political situation. But he is wrong. [...] Many people I spoke to believe that Putin's system of government simply cannot last long," Zygar said. 

In a column for Dozhd, Taratuta reported, citing sources familiar with the situation, that a new yacht was presented to Putin on the holiday – to replace the Scheherazade, confiscated in Italy under sanctions. According to the sources, Kovalchuk personally prepared the gift. 

"The yacht took three years to build, or even five – here, the stories differ. Only one thing is known for sure: it was gifted. Neither the war with Ukraine, nor Prigozhin's mutiny, nor the bombing of Rostov and Voronezh got in the way," says Taratuta.

Previously: On 24 June, the day of the mutiny by Wagner Group fighters, Russian media outlet Vazhnye Istorii (Important Stories), citing FlightRadar data, reported that Putin's special Il96-300PU (Control Point) aircraft had departed Moscow for St Petersburg at 14:16 (Moscow time), but it disappeared from the tracking system over the Tver area.

At the same time, Ukrainian intelligence stated that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had left Moscow for his residence in Valdai. Meanwhile, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov denied this and claimed that Russia’s president was "working in the Kremlin".


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