Investigative journalist Christo Grozev from Bellingcat predicts that in half a year, either Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner Group, “will be dead,” or “there will be a second coup” in Russia.
Source: Grozev in an interview with the Financial Times
Quote: “Putin… called Prigozhin a traitor.
Everyone knows what they do with ‘traitors’ and Putin hasn’t done that.
He [Putin – ed.] wants to see him [Prigozhin – ed.] dead.
He can’t do that yet.
In six months Prigozhin will either be dead or there will be a second coup.”
Details: Grozev also said that he does not think that any part of the Russian elite, with the exception of the military-industrial complex, sees the sense in the Russian war against Ukraine.
In his opinion, “they’re not speaking out” because of a “prisoner’s dilemma”.
The investigator, answering a question, commented on the possible overthrow of Putin: “It could go one of two ways.
Either the prisoner’s dilemma can be broken, or they will just get rid of him through a better co-ordinated coup.
You don’t have that yet among the oligarchs, or with any of the ministers, or the FSB [Russia’s security service – FT].
But it is unpalatable for the rest of the elite to live in a North Korea 2.1 [because of the sanctions imposed against Russia – ed.] with their bank accounts frozen.
Other triggers could happen. Say a reversal of fortunes on the frontline.”
On the evening of 23 June, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, said that the Russian regular army had launched a missile strike on the rear mercenary camps, and because of this, 25,000 mercenaries of Prigozhin were allegedly going to “restore justice”.
On the morning of June 24, Prigozhin claimed that he took control of the military facilities of Rostov-On-Don, including an airfield; after that Prigozhin said they were “heading for Moscow”, and that his soldiers shot down three Russian helicopters. Wagner Private Military Company mercenaries also seized military facilities in the Russian city of Voronezh.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in an emergency address said that Russia is “fighting for survival”, and that there are attempts to “organise a rebellion” in the country.
The Office of the President of the Russian Federation anticipated that Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group fighters would likely reach Moscow’s outskirts in just a few hours, with fighting expected near Russia’s capital. According to Ukrainian intelligence, Vladimir Putin urgently left Moscow for his residence in Valdai. A convoy of Wagner Group forces was spotted 400 kilometres from Moscow.
On Saturday evening, after a conversation with Alexander Lukashenko, the self-proclaimed president of Belarus, Prigozhin said that his mercenaries were turning their convoys around and going in the opposite direction to set up field camps. The criminal case against Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was to be closed and he would “go to Belarus”.
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