Espreso. Global

Elimination of Prigozhin is only beginning, Russia clears information and political field

25 August, 2023 Friday

Putin's authoritarian rule is systematically controlling both the information and political landscape within Russia, with the recent elimination of Prigozhin marking just the initial phase of this process


This is stated by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security.

According to the Center, these unfolding events in Russia are a direct result of Putin's actions. The center asserts that the motivation behind Prigozhin's targeted removal is rooted in Putin's personal grievance, stemming from Prigozhin's open criticism of the nation's leadership and his involvement in the June 23 mutiny. The Center also emphasizes that considering historical and moral perspectives, Prigozhin's elimination aligns with the natural consequences of his war crimes.

The Center labels the elimination technique used against PMC Wagner leader - a clandestine extrajudicial killing that also involves unintended victims - as a "gangster-style execution." This description underscores the extent to which Russian governance has deteriorated.

“In the midst of its battle to maintain power, the Putin regime is progressively eradicating political opposition within the country. This approach, albeit at the expense of substantial damage to its reputation, ultimately weakens the regime itself. The fate of Prigozhin serves as a stark reminder that any agreements or assurances from the Kremlin carry no real value,” as highlighted by the Center.

Details regarding Prigozhin’s plane crash

On August 23, a business jet belonging to Yevgeny Prigozhin, an Embraer aircraft, crashed in Russia's Tver region, resulting in the confirmed deaths of 10 individuals. Among the passengers was Dmitry Utkin, a key figure in Wagner PMC. Multiple theories have emerged about the crash: 1) the plane might have been downed by an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system; 2) it could have been hit by air defense systems; 3) an explosion might have occurred onboard.

Subsequently, the Institute for the Study of War suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin might have ordered the assassination of Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin to reassert dominance and seek revenge.

One version from Russian media indicated that an explosive device was planted in the landing gear of the plane carrying Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. This device would have detonated at a specific moment, leading to wing and stabilizer detachment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that Ukraine was not involved in the plane's downing and made light of the situation by joking that such "aircraft assistance" wasn't what Ukraine had asked for.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speculated that after Prigozhin's probable death, Wagner operatives might continue to destabilize Belarus' neighboring countries.

In contrast, the United States believes that the aircraft, carrying passengers linked to Wagner PMC leadership, was likely shot down by a missile from within Russian territory.

The Russian leader also responded to Prigozhin's demise, referring to the Wagner leader as a figure with a complicated fate who achieved necessary results but also made significant mistakes.

ISW analysts believe that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's willingness to publicly kill Wagner's leadership is likely to prompt the PMC's Council of Commanders to refrain from publicly appointing successors to Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin

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