Espreso. Global
OPINION

Is Prigozhin really dead and why does Putin need this?

25 August, 2023 Friday
22:15

The decade-long era of the Wagner PMC star has faded and slipped over the horizon. The story of the mercenaries who seized gold deposits in Africa, fought in Syria, and spent the whole winter staging a new Verdun near Ukraine’s Bakhmut ended quite predictably

client/title.list_title

Putin could not tolerate the emergence of a charismatic and effective competitor for real power in Russia, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and probably removed him. Why probably - Prigozhin is an old acquaintance of Putin's since his youth in St. Petersburg. He is also his wallet for non-labor income in Africa. He is also a person who, from a military point of view, built an entire army corps from scratch during the fighting, which had greater combat capability than any corps of the professional Russian army.

It was the recruitment of convicts to the front by Prigozhin personally last fall that allowed Russian to somewhat dampen the devastating effect of the brilliant Kharkiv operation and then the liberation of Kherson. This raised the morale of the Russians to a new level, and it instilled fear in the Ukrainians. Therefore, the bet was quite competent. Not to mention that Prigozhin's thugs, despite the memes on the Internet, proved to be quite skillful on the battlefield, and killed many of the best of our army.

"However, Prigozhin's personal popularity grew. His emotional videos about "Gerasimov, Shoigu, where are the shells?" were watched by Ukrainians in large numbers. And the Kremlin quickly realized that Prigozhin, with his aura of an atypical commander, manager, and man with a difficult past who succeeded, fit very well with the deepest desires of Russians. In this way, it is possible to play up to the point where Prigozhin, and not the artificially cultivated Navalny and Khodorkovsky, will be the real opposition to Putin."

Why is it correct to say that Prigozhin probably died? We are unlikely to be shown the medical records of the corpses from his plane. The term "probably killed" is used by Western intelligence agencies. Finally, there are no guarantees that Prigozhin died as agreed purely socially, and that he will physically improve his appearance and settle in the CAR as planned.

The social death of a longtime partner in large-scale murders, black money and war crimes in Ukraine could have been the price for longstanding loyalty and for the gold of Africa.

Speaking of gold... If you read Russian sources, the Russians themselves write that for several weeks in a row, an IL-76 cargo plane of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations with the tail number RA-76845 has been making regular flights to Mali. They flew there on special flights as many as 10 times. The question is, how much gold and diamonds were transported to Putin's residence by the Wagner PMC?

Very soon we will see an elaborate funeral with coffins that will say that Prigozhin and his close associate Utkin are lying there. It doesn't matter who is lying there - politically, one enemy of Ukraine has been destroyed. And removed from the processes of war in Ukraine.

"Is it useful for us? Of course it is. In matters of war, there should be a healthy, easy competition between generals and managers. Prigozhin's appearance on the scene last year highlighted the cracks in the Russian army system. He showed those who want power and money in Russia itself where the weak points of the Russian concentration camp are."

And the bright summer putsch proved to many that the one in the bunker does not always have all the power - just go and take it. Even Rostov in three days, even Moscow.

What is the benefit of this story for us? Prigozhin's death, whether imagined or real, lifted Ukrainians' spirits on Independence Day. Probably, many people received moral satisfaction from the fact that one monster joined the audience at Kobzon's concert. 

"However, this will not change the front lines in Ukraine’s favor. It will not resurrect those who were killed by the Wagner Group on the battlefield or in their own houses under occupation. It will also not bring back thousands of Ukrainian children, from whom the junior army is already training new machines for future wars with Ukraine."

However, Putin decided to lock the army into Shoigu. And he preferred an unambitious partner in walks in the taiga. This is not the collapse of the Russian army, but a sign of deep decay. And in the long run, it plays into our hands.

As for the Wagner PMC, this rather adventurous story can be considered closed. Some of the Wagner members will join the Russian army on a general basis, and those who disagree will face death, oblivion, and tamped graves.

It will be difficult for all other Prigozhin's henchmen to find a quality manager and owner. After all, the entire success of the Wagner fighters for 10 years was based on the figure of Prigozhin, who was active, daring, and extremely cruel.

Between the fairly good management of a killing machine and personal enrichment, Putin chose gold and diamonds. It's hard to say how they will help him maintain power under the siege of Western sanctions. However, Putin has set a goal of retaining sole power for another 5 years - and he is repeating in detail the path of his idol Stalin.

But one March morning, this did not save the original Stalin, and his corpse was found in a puddle of urine.

Specially for Espreso

About the author: Maryna Danyliuk-Yarmolaieva, journalist.

The editors don't always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

Tags:
Read also:
  • News
2024, Monday
22 July
14:57
OPINION
On Johnson's plan for Trump
14:44
EU Council extends sanctions against Russia for another 6 months
14:26
Ukraine to receive 100,000 ammunition rounds via Czech initiative by end of summer
13:59
Ukraine reaches agreement on external debt restructuring
13:18
EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels to discuss Orban's 'peacekeeping tour'
13:11
Ukraine's FM Kuleba to visit China: key topics of talks
13:00
Exclusive
Biden's withdrawal shows Democrats’ unconventional approach — Ukrainian diplomat
12:44
Shipments of microelectronics from China, Hong Kong to Russia drop 28% in 2024
12:31
Exclusive
Russia likely chose media figure to catalyze events in Ukraine: expert on Iryna Farion’s murder
12:16
Russia claims to down 75 UAVs, Tuapse oil depot on fire
12:01
OPINION
Trump realizes Ukraine issue needs to be addressed directly with Ukraine
11:40
Review
Why the West contemplates Ukraine striking Russia with Western weapons
10:55
Ukrainian team NaVi wins CS2 tournament
10:33
Exclusive
Russian troops have no advances in Kharkiv region — Achilles battalion commander 
10:13
Exclusive
Ukraine could block Crimea this year — military expert Zgurets
09:56
Ukraine's Zelenskyy reponds to Biden's withdrawal from presidential race
09:36
Russia loses 1,050 soldiers, 51 artillery systems, 18 tanks in one day of war in Ukraine
2024, Sunday
21 July
21:15
Ukrainian MPs issue ultimatum on Moscow Patriarchate ban
20:51
Interview
For most Trump supporters, Ukraine is a non-issue – political scientist Piontkovsky
20:14
Exclusive
How Russia's occupation of Prohres village impacts the course of this war 
19:55
Can Russia сontinue to fight Ukraine for another decade
19:31
OPINION
The war will continue. There is simply no other option
18:42
Russian army threatens farmers over poor yields following Russia's annihilation of the Kakhovka dam
18:12
France restricts access to 2024 Olympics for Russian, Belarusian journalists and technical support
17:44
OPINION
Why does Russia fear democracy?
17:19
Funeral for Polish volunteer soldier, killed on front line in Ukraine
16:58
Georgia calls military volunteers who fought in Ukraine in for questioning
16:38
Trump's ex-advisor Bolton: Concessions to Putin will devastate both Ukraine and U.S.
15:50
OPINION
"Peacemakers with silencers": How Trump's radicalization will impact end of war in Ukraine
15:20
Russian troops ready new assaults on Vovchansk and Hlyboke
14:53
Russia's Il-76 aircraft malfunction due to poor-quality parts - media
14:25
Russia launches 13 air bombs on Toretsk overnight
13:55
OPINION
Zelenskyy-Trump: Analysis
13:14
Slovak PM Fico criticises sanctions on Russian oil company Lukoil in conversation with Shmyhal
12:47
Russian troops target civilians with drone in Beryslav
12:14
172 clashes at the front as Ukrainian forces repel 52 Russian attacks near Pokrovsk – General Staff
11:45
Exclusive
“Out of operation for a while”: aviation expert on Russia’s Millerovo airfield attack
11:17
Ukraine’s air defense destroys 35 Russian Shaheds, 2 Kh-59/69 missiles
10:41
Russia loses 1,110 soldiers, one air defense system, 9 tanks, and 44 artillery systems in a day
2024, Saturday
20 July
19:51
Russia attacks Ivashky village in Kharkiv region with FPV drone, killing civilians
More news