Wagner Group leader Prigozhin slammed Putin after not receiving a reward for capturing Bakhmut.
Prigozhin feuded with Putin and the Russian Defense Ministry over Bakhmut, ISW said.
Russian state media has effectively banned reporting on Wagner, Prigozhin said.
Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin may criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Defense Ministry for not receiving a reward for capturing Bakhmut, according to a new analysis.
According to an update from the Institute for the Study of War, Prigozhin’s repeated attacks on Putin’s character – including profane and thinly veiled insults earlier this month – and criticism of the Defense Ministry could be linked to a lack of reward for Wagner’s capture of Bakhmut. .
“Prigozhin’s attacks on Putin and the Russian Defense Ministry – in combination with his boasting about Wagner’s achievements – may suggest that Prigozhin is frustrated at not having received the promised compensation for his victory in the Battle of Bakhmut”, said ISW.
While it’s unclear what reward Prigozhin would have received, complications surrounding his capture of Bakhmut may indicate a reluctance by Putin and Russian military leaders to reward him, according to the ISW.
One of these complications is the timing of the actual capture of Bakhmut. ISW reported that the Kremlin hoped to sack Bakhmut sooner than Prigozhin did, perhaps to compare the victory to Victory Day celebrations and the Soviet Union’s capture of Berlin in 1945.
Prigozhin said Wagner’s troops took control of Bakhmut on May 10 and cleared the town on May 21, later blaming the delay on a lack of ammunition supplied by the Russian Defense Ministry, ISW said.
Prigozhin said on Sunday that Kremlin media had effectively banned reporting on him or Wagner, likely due to his continued insults of Putin and Russian leaders, according to Reuters.
One of the first signs of reluctance to cover Prigozhin came after Wagner claimed victory in Bakhmut – Reuters reported that Russian state television did not report on Bakhmut’s downfall for 20 hours and n hadn’t aired Prigozhin’s victory speech.
Asked about the apparent ban on covering it, Reuters reported that Prigozhin said: “That high-level bureaucrats, those same Kremlin towers, are trying to shut everyone’s mouths from talking about Wagner. will only give the people another boost.”
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