'Check the torture cellar': Russian mercenary boss leaves U.S. reporter disturbing message about a 'corpse'
Russian mercenary leader and Vladimir Putin's "chef", Yevgeny Prigozhin, sent a disturbing audio message Thursday, in response to The Daily Beast reporter, Allison Quinn's, question regarding the Russian Wagner Group.
"Dear Allison, baby, you are asking too many questions today," the private military company boss said in the message. "I am busy searching my garden plot for the corpse of your colleague, and you are asking me about some new events."
The Daily Beast reports:
Prigozhin's ominous statement about corpse-hunting in his garden is likely a reference to an earlier message the mercenary boss provided to The Daily Beast, when asked about the arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.
READ MORE: Vladimir Putin's 'chef' says his mercenaries 'will take Bakhmut anyway' despite Kremlin's 'envy'
Prigozhin told The Daily Beast he would "check the torture cellar in my house to see if he's there" – referring to Gershkovich.
"At first glance, I didn't see him among the American journalists I keep there by the dozens. I can, if you want, also look at the fresh graves of foreign journalists on my house plot. But if I’m not mistaken, we didn’t bury him there either," he said.
U.S citizen Gershkovich, according to The Daily Beast, was arrested and "detained in the west-central city of Yekaterinburg," Thursday, "the Federal Security Service confirmed to state media." The reporter was "suspected of spying in the interests of the U.S. government."
The Wall Street Journal reports President Joe Biden "was briefed on the detention of Mr. Gershkovich, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters," and "she reiterated earlier State Department warnings that Americans are urged to avoid traveling to Russia."
READ MORE: Why Putin may be trying to 'weaken' a 'paramilitary mercenary' group he hired to fight in Ukraine: report
"We've been very clear about Americans not going to Russia. It is not safe," Jean-Pierre said.
Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said, "In the strongest possible terms, we condemn the Kremlin’s continued attempts to intimidate, repress, and punish journalists and civil society voices."
READ MORE: 'Carefully, precisely, surgically': Russian oligarch tied to Putin admits to interfering in US elections
The Daily Beast's full report is available at this link (subscription required). The Wall Street Journal's full report is here (subscription required).
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