Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko said he warned Yevgeny Prigozhin to “watch out” for threats to his life when the Wagner mercenary chief marched on to Moscow in June, before the plane crash in which he is believed to have died.

During the mutiny which challenged Vladimir Putin’s rule in Russia, Mr Lukashenko said he had warned Prigozhin that he would “die” if he continued to march on Moscow, to which he said Prigozhin had answered: “To hell with it – I will die.”