Prigozhin’s current hysterical actions and statements are a consequence of his attempt to save himself from the wrath of the top Kremlin leaders.
“Prigozhin’s public activity is associated with the fact that at some point he realized that his privileged position as Putin’s favorite ‘grandson’ was shaken,” said Lev Kadik, a journalist specializing in foreign affairs at the Latvian portal Delfi.lv and former political editor of the Russian newspaper Kommersant.
Read also: Biden claims Russians suffered over 100,000 troop casualties in Bakhmut
Experts interviewed by NV are convinced that the only function exercised by the leader of the Wagner group during the full-scale invasion was to issue appeals and mobilize prisoners, followed by their deployment to the front lines.
Now, Prigozhin’s services have become useless, as the Russian military has learned since last August to independently perform the same tasks since last fall, Kadik said.
The leader of the Wagner Group was also unable to capture Bakhmut after months of fighting, despite Putin’s approval to recruit criminals strictly for this purpose. So, Prigozhin’s recent statements about his group’s withdrawal from Bakhmut and his lengthy interview on the topic of how “we can fuck up Russia thanks to the Kremlin elite” are nothing more than an attempt at self-defense.
Prigozhin is a product of the Putin system, but now his position as “Putin’s leader” has weakened within it, as he no longer fights against Ukraine but for his own skin, Maxim Reznik, former member of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, says NV.
“You see, Prigozhin is a patriot of his own skin,” Reznik said.
Read also: Russian leadership won’t let Prigozhin withdraw forces from Bakhmut, says Ukrainian military
Figures similar to Prigozhin have appeared before in Putin’s Russia history, Fyodor Krascheninnikov, a Russian political scientist living in Lithuania, said in an interview with NV.
For example, after the annexation of Crimea, the “popular mayor” of Sevastopol Alexei Chaly and former prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya received their share of popularity from the Kremlin, but their influence quickly declined without Putin’s support.
Chaly takes as an example Ramzan Kadyrov, the “leader” of Chechnya. He was previously one of Prigozhin’s main public allies, backing the Wagner Group in its dispute with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. However, once the leader of the Wagner group started his own game and crossed a certain line in his criticism, Kadyrov’s support dissolved.
Krascheninnikov explained that within Putin’s system of power, alliances or coalitions are impossible because they are broken from above.
It is very likely that Prigozhin will be kidnapped, not physically destroyed, but sent to some kind of exile, like Africa, where the Wagner group has several “missions” underway, the Delfi.lv journalist concluded.
“Prigozhin will go to Sudan, and what will happen to him there is anyone’s guess. In any case, he will be removed from the stage where everyone is dancing, singing and shouting.
Read also: Ukrainian secret service explains the conflict between Prigozhin and Shoigu
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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine