Prigozhin has made influential enemies in Putin’s inner circle. What awaits him next.
The entire civilized world was horrified by the video published online, in which a captured Ukrainian soldier’s head was brutally cut off. The sadists hid their faces, but after this publication there was a version that the killers could be operatives of the “Wagner” PMC. Soon, the confirming testimonies of the three “Wagnerites” appeared on the net. And they discredited personally the owner of this PMC – Eugene Prigozhin.
It is noteworthy that this “scandal” appeared against the background of the failed attempted winter-spring offensive of the Russian army. The occupiers never managed to make any significant territorial gains. The invaders failed even the minimum task. They failed to occupy Bakhmut with further access to Kramatorsk and Slavyansk.
Prigozhin is personally responsible for this direction. He acquired a number of influential enemies in the entourage of the Kremlin dictator. Also, in recent months the ringleader of the Wagner family has been actively building up his political weight. So it’s not surprising that they started leaking him on every possible front. Read more in the material evocation.info.
Prigozhin’s Long Tongue
The Wagner PMCs were not immediately involved in a full-scale invasion – despite the fact that since 2014 they have repeatedly participated in combat operations in Ukraine. This is connected with the conflict that already existed between Prigozhin and Putin’s entourage.
Prigozhin built his business empire on connections with a number of influential people who brought him closer to the Russian leadership. But at some point he began to abuse his self-proclaimed title of “poutine’s cook. Prigozhin has reached into the spheres of influence of other henchmen of the Kremlin dictator.
As a result, he was pushed out of all government contracts and left to enrich himself only outside the country. In Africa and the Middle East. There, his Wagner PMC has taken control of a number of oil and gas fields, gold mines and other sources of minerals. All this was done under the guise of helping dictatorial regimes in Syria, Libya, Sudan and other countries.
But here, too, Prigozhin was let down by his long tongue. Attributing to himself all the “victories” in the Russian army’s foreign campaigns, he has further alienated Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. As a result, the Wagners suffered huge losses in direct confrontations with the U.S. Army and ISIS fighters. And all because the forces under Shoig’s control simply left the mercenaries without air and artillery support.
However, even this did not cool down Prigozhin’s ambitions. He quarreled with First Deputy Head of the AP Sergei Kiriyenko, trying to bring down his protégé, Leningrad Oblast Governor Alexander Beglov. His subordinates also tried to take bread from the GRU and FSB. When we interfered in their operation to interfere in the American election.
Prigozhin even managed to piss off Putin’s closest associate, the billionaire Yury Kovalchuk. And he became one of the main ideologists of the so-called “special military operation. As a result, Prigozhin was not involved in the organization of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
But Shoigu’s mercenaries (for example, PMC Redut), created on the model of PMC Wagner, have completely failed in their tasks. Putin needed a result, because his military commanders had failed to fulfill their promise to “take Kiev in three days. That’s why we decided to call Prigozhin. It was believed that the “Wagnerites” would either ensure advancement, or their ringleader could be finally buried. At least politically.
Prigozhin’s stellar time
It should be noted that he approached the case thoroughly. Prygozhin’s fighters appeared on the battlefield in Ukraine in late March, almost a month after the invasion began. As part of a large-scale recruitment campaign in the ranks of the Wagner PMC began to recruit hundreds of mercenaries. Even those who were previously on the so-called “black list” – that is, were rejected.
“The Wagnerians were thrown into the most difficult parts of the front, and they showed results. After they managed to occupy Popasna, Prigozhin received “carte blanche” personally from Putin. He was allowed to recruit cannon fodder in the Russian colonies – the so-called “Project K”. First, he personally drove around the prisons and agitated the “convicts” to join the PMCs. And then the coffins with the “kashnikovs” went home en masse. So the prisoners began to be enrolled in the “Wagnerites” voluntarily and forced.
It seems that this method allowed Prigozhin to significantly replenish the ranks of mercenaries. In this way they managed to recruit about 50,000 convicts – of whom only 10,000 remained at the front. The rest were either killed, wounded, or missing. With the help of convicts, Prigozhin managed to turn the situation around in some parts of the front. And he “caught a star” again.
Prigozhin began to appear frequently on the news agenda. He became a commentator on all kinds of topics, from the situation at the front to foreign policy. A pool of major Telegram channels and so-called “war correspondents” joined in its promotion. He gained situational allies as well. Among them are the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, the well-known propagandist Vladimir Solovyov, and a number of generals. Including the former commander of the svoi, Sergei Surovikin.
Since last summer, Prigozhin publicly positions the Wagner PMC as the most combat-ready unit. They say it is what sets the pace for the so-called “special military operation. For a long time his bravado was accompanied by derogatory remarks about the Russian military leadership. Including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.
After the seizure of Soledar, Prigozhin’s shares in the eyes of the Kremlin dictator apparently rose again. He was given the task of taking Bakhmut, for which there has been a fierce confrontation for almost a year. But here his self-confidence and love of “flashy quotes” played a cruel trick on him. The Kremlin apparatchiks decided to teach the upstart a lesson, even at the cost of failures at the front.
How Prigozhin was leaked
The leadership of the Russian Ministry of Defense initially left the Wagnerians one-on-one with the Ukrainian army. At key moments the forces of the regular Russian army disappeared from the flanks, aviation and artillery did not reach the lines. Remember the Wagner campaign in Syria, when Prigozhin had a falling out with Shoigu. Same handwriting. All this coincided with the removal of Surovokin and the transition of Svoboda to Gerasimov’s personal management.
Prigozhin tried to outplay his opponents. Realizing that sooner or later his “colleagues” would retaliate against him, he got his own planes and howitzers. But that didn’t help either, because the Wagnerians simply stopped receiving shells. And this, again, is the parafee of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The cherry on the cake – he was denied access to human resources. Prisoners are now being recruited by PMCs controlled by Shoigu.
What did Prigogine do? He decided that he had enough popularity to “fight” with his opponents in public space. At first he blamed the leadership of the RF Ministry of Defense, leaked restricted-access documents, demanded and threatened… But after a few weeks it became clear that the federal channels had a “block” on him. As the saying goes, if the event wasn’t televised, it didn’t happen. And even a network of Telegram channels won’t help in this case.
Prigozhin realized that he had lost and began to apologize publicly. The situation for his mercenaries has improved somewhat. The Wagnerians have been getting shells again in recent weeks. They were allowed to take the mobilized from other sections of the front. Troops of paratroopers entered the flanks of the Bakhmut offensive. But don’t be fooled here. All this in order to fulfill Putin’s “wish” and fully occupy Bakhmut by May 9.
For Prigozhin personally, the situation has not changed. No one and nothing will forget him this time. The Wagner PMC will be finally destroyed in the Bakhmut meat grinder. Or will pass under the control of more clever and less tongue-tied comrades. The nominal leader could be one of the former combat commanders that the mercenaries already know. For example, Andrei Troshev or Andrei Bogatov. Wagner himself, Dmitry Utkin, is unlikely to want to be the public face of the company.
Prigozhin’s “Zeroing in”
What will happen to Prigozhin? The most likely scenario is that he will be appointed “chief war criminal. And they will attribute to him most of the atrocities committed by the occupiers in Ukraine. Perhaps they will even be judged exemplarily if it comes to peace negotiations and someone has to be handed over to The Hague as a “goodwill gesture. Or maybe just eliminated for show “for the edification of posterity.
The story about the execution of a Ukrainian prisoner of war mentioned at the beginning speaks in favor of this version. And also the testimony of former “Wagnerites” that the order to “zero out” (kill, – ed.) prisoners and civilians was given personally by Prigozhin. It is likely that this is a true story. After all, there can be no shadow of a doubt that Prigozhin is a war criminal.
However, the question is why the video of the execution, shot last year, has appeared now, when Prigozhin’s position on all fronts has weakened considerably. And this story struck at the image of an “honest warrior,” which he had so long and meticulously built. It is not for nothing that Prigozhin praises the bravery of Ukrainian fighters in his public speeches, passes the bodies of the dead on camera, releases prisoners on Easter eve…
The last nail that Prigozhin personally hammered into his coffin seems to have been his words about the need to end “svo” and begin negotiations with the West to establish a “status quo” in the occupied territories of Ukraine. It’s easy to imagine Kovalchuk putting a printout of this statement, along with the results of his sociology, on a table in a deep bunker somewhere in the Urals. And from that moment on, the countdown begins for the swindler and blabbermouth Yevgeny Prigozhin.
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