Former Russian commander in Ukraine says Putin could be overthrown by Wagner’s mercenary army

A shared image of Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of a Russian mercenary group known as Wagner (left), and Russian President Vladimir PutinMikhail Svetlov/Contributor via Getty Images

  • A former Federal Security Service officer says Putin could be overthrown by Wagner.

  • The Wagnerian Army is Putin’s private military army, made up largely of mercenaries.

  • Army chief Yevgeny Prigozhin could pose an active threat to Putin, the war analyst said.

Vladimir Putin could be ousted by Russia’s private military group, the Wagner Army, according to Igor Girkin, a former Federal Security Service officer who once led a group of Russian militants in Donetsk.

Girkin, who is also known by his pseudonym “Strelkov” and is now a prominent war blogger, said Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin could topple the Russian president, the Daily Mail reported.

“If Prigozhin remains in charge of Wagner, the mutiny will come quickly and radically,” Girkin said in a video shared by WarTranslated.

“A coup attempt has been declared… What will happen next, I don’t know, especially as Wagner is urgently withdrawn to rear bases… The danger of an impending coup is clear.”

Prigozhin, who was once close to Putin, has repeatedly criticized the Russian Defense Ministry in recent months. Last week, he said Ukraine had gained more troops and more weapons since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Wagner founder added to his feud with Russian public leaders when he claimed the war in Ukraine had turned against him, according to The Hill. He tallied heavy losses for the Wagner Group in its pursuit of Bakhmut, as well as the strength of the Ukrainian army, while suggesting that Russia’s senior leadership should be changed.

Girkin criticized the impact of the invasion of Ukraine on Russia.

In a YouTube manifesto last month, reported by Ukrainian newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, Girkin said the situation on the front line had an “extremely negative” impact on Russia’s ability to win the war.

“I am not afraid to say that we are heading for a military defeat,” Girkin said, adding that the Russian economy, military and political system were unprepared for “such a long and protracted war. “.

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