Yevgeny Prigozhin, the director of Wagner, is listed as a passenger on the crashed jet by Russian authorities.

Yevgeny Prigozhin: Wagner resisted Putin, and its commander may now be dead.

Vladimir Putin clarified his thoughts when Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner warriors began their mutiny two months ago. He referred to it as “treachery” and a “stab in the back” to Russia. He assured them that the offenders would face consequences.

So when they weren’t, there was scepticism in Russia. When all charges against the founder of Wagner and his warriors were dropped despite the fact that Russian servicemen had been slain during the murky but brief rebellion; when a compromise was reached between Mr. Prigozhin and the Kremlin to put an end to the mutiny.

It gave President Putin a poor appearance.Yevgeny Prigozhin, the director of Wagner, is listed as a passenger on the crashed jet by Russian authorities.

One Russian newspaper made the following observation about the accepted compromise (ending the mutiny in exchange for freedom from prosecution): “This kind of compromise is typically struck with political opponents. Never with terrorists and criminals. Does that imply that Mr. Prigozhin should now be seen as a political figure?

All of a sudden, everything appears to have changed.

After exactly two months, Mr. Prigozhin’s private jet crashed and caught fire in a field, leaving him thought dead on the same plane as the captain of the Wagner, Dmitry Utkin.

The rumoured death of Mr Prigozhin won’t cause the Russian elite to cry too much. That also applies to the military leadership of Russia, which Mr. Prigozhin had vehemently and publicly criticized and demanded be fired.

The head of Wagner claimed that the alleged “March of Justice”—his euphemism for the uprising—had not been intended at the Kremlin but rather at the Chief of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The Wagner mutiny actually represented a direct challenge to President Putin’s authority and an embarrassing day for the Kremlin. Mr. Putin acknowledged that Wagner had been supported by the Russian government. It was obvious that loyalty could not be purchased with money.

If those in authority committed this act of retaliation, it sends two very clear messages to Mr. Prigozhin’s supporters and anyone else in Russia who could have been considering armed resistance:

Try not to
Observe what occurs to those who do.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the director of Wagner, is listed as a passenger on the crashed jet by Russian authorities.

That suggests that President Putin might become more powerful at home as a result of these spectacular events.

What if Mr. Prigozhin ends up a martyr, though? What if others who had sworn allegiance to him and who were skilled warriors demanded their own acts of retaliation?

Wagner-affiliated Telegram group Grey Zone said that “Russian traitors” were to blame for Mr. Prigozhin’s alleged demise.

It didn’t specify who it thought those traitors were or what Wagner would say in response.

The possibility of foul involvement in this tragedy won’t surprise many Russians. Since the mutiny, there has been ferocious rumour-mongering over Mr. Prigozhin’s destiny and whether or not his actions would actually be pardoned.

He must be aware of that. But as he travelled on his private plane in recent weeks, it was obvious that he did not consider flying to be dangerous. Maybe he thought he was too important and important a role in present-day Russia to be removed?

The destiny of Yevgeny Prigozhin has been linked to the Kremlin for many years. He was a dependable government contractor and the commander of the Wagner mercenary army, which fought in Ukraine and was accused of carrying out Russia’s subversive activities in Syria and Africa.

However, many people in Russia and beyond began to worry just how long he might survive after inciting the wrath of Russian President Vladimir Putin when he turned his forces toward Moscow two months ago.

Prigozhin’s History
In 1981, Prigozhin was found guilty of robbery and violence and given a 12-year prison term. In the 1990s, after being released, he started a restaurant in St. Petersburg. At the time, Putin served as the city’s deputy mayor.

Prigozhin took use of his connections to launch a catering company and land large government contracts in Russia, earning him the moniker “Putin’s chef.” Later, he ventured into other fields, such as journalism and the infamous “troll factory” on the internet, which resulted in his arrest in the US for interfering with the 2016 presidential election.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the director of Wagner, is listed as a passenger on the crashed jet by Russian authorities.

In the days and weeks following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, Wagner was first observed in action in eastern Ukraine shortly after a separatist conflict broke out in April 2014.

Even though there is considerable proof to the contrary, Russia at the time denied sending its own troops and weaponry. Thanks to the Private Wagner army, Moscow had some measure of defence.

Personnel from Wagner were also sent to Syria, where Russia backed President Bashar Assad’s administration in a civil war. They participated in combat in Libya alongside Khalifa Hifter’s troops. The group has also conducted operations in Mali and the Central African Republic.

But Prigozhin didn’t confirm creating, running, and funding Wagner until September 2022. By that time, his mercenaries in Ukraine, many of whom he had recruited from Russian jails, were fighting and dying in great numbers, particularly in the destroyed town of Bakhmut.

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