WAGNER rebel Yevgeny Prigozhin is either dead or rotting away in a Russian gulag, an ex-General claimed.
The mutinous bald-headed maniac has not been seen in weeks since his botched coup – and some experts believe reports that he met with Vladimir Putin were "fake".
The Russian President reportedly sat down with the Wagner Group boss to hear his reasons for the short-lived armed insurrection last month.
However, a former senior US military leader has now come out and casted doubt over the alleged meeting.
Robert Abrams, a retired General who served as the commander of US Forces Korea, told ABC News that Prigozhin's future was uncertain.
Abrams said: "My personal assessment is that I doubt we’ll see Prigozhin ever again publicly.
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"I think he'll either be put in hiding, or sent to prison, or dealt with some other way, but I doubt we’ll ever see him again."
Known as "Putin's Chef" – Prigozhin was once one of Putin's trusted cronies but has since gone on to pose significant threats to the despot's regime.
It has led to many pundits questioning if he was still alive.
Abrams added: "I personally don't think he is, and if he is, he's in a prison somewhere."
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According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Putin met with Prigozhin and his bloodthirsty thugs five days after the aborted mutiny.
However, the retired four-star general raised doubts about the meeting, which supposedly took place on June 29.
Abrams said: "I'd be surprised if we actually see proof of life that Putin met with Prigozhin.
"I think it's highly staged."
Earlier this week, Peskov claimed the Russian leader invited 35 officials to a three-hour meeting, including Prigozhin.
Other top brass including Viktor Zolotov, the head of the national guard, and Sergei Naryshkin, the SVR Foreign Intelligence boss, were also there, it was reported.
During the meeting, Putin is believed to have given an "assessment" of the Wagner Group's efforts in Bakhmut as well as the mutiny.
Peskov also claimed Putin "listened to the explanations of the commanders and offered them options for further employment and further use in combat".
Peskov added: "The commanders themselves presented their version of what happened.
"They stressed that they are staunch supporters and soldiers of the head of state and the commander-in-chief, and also said that they are ready to continue to fight for their homeland.
"That is all we can say about this meeting."
It comes as Prigozhin led a failed rebellion that saw his mercenaries seize control of the city of Rostov-on-Don.
The 62-year-old then ordered his forces to march toward Moscow, but bizarrely changed his mind after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko brokered a truce with furious Kremlin officials.
Under the agreement, Prigozhin would be spared charges of treason if he agreed to be exiled in Belarus.
However, Lukashenko now claimed Prigozhin was back in Russia.
According to official flight tracking data, one of his private jets has made several trips between Belarus and Russia in the past few weeks.
He was reportedly seen in the Saint Petersburg office of the FSB last week, where he collected his weapons that were confiscated during a raid on his mansion.
Not long after, Prigozhin released an audio message thanking supporters of the Wagner coup, in which he said was "aimed at fighting traitors and mobilizing our society".
Prigozhin’s current whereabouts and future plans are unknown.
Some insiders believe the warmonger is extremely sick and that his cancer diagnosis may have spurred his decision to launch the coup.
While other experts believe Prigozhin is walking with a target on his back.
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Mike Pompeo, the former US Secretary of State, told WABC: "I wouldn't insure his life… Prigozhin clearly took a chance.
"If you’re going to take on the king, don’t do it with a Nerf bat. He did. It failed."
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