Wagnerian warlord Vevgeny Prigozhin claimed he was tipped off about a plot led by Vladimir Putin to undermine and “neutralize” the dreaded group of Russian mercenaries.
Prigozhin claimed to have received a series of questions from the Russian newspaper Nezivisimaya Gazeta which apparently revealed the plot to “neutralize” Wagner and the warlord in particular.
Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Russian Security Council, reportedly told Putin that he believed that after the war in Ukraine, Prigozhin would try to unite his mercenaries and send them to Russia to “take power” in the regions. bordering Ukraine before potentially advancing inland. .
Patrushev reportedly told the meeting that he had already ordered Russian troops to observe Wagner’s mercenaries and control their movement for fear that they would rise up against Putin. A paranoid Putin reportedly thanked Patrushev for his efforts to “neutralize Wagner in general and Prigozhin in particular”.
However, experts from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) questioned Prigozhin’s claims that he received questions from the media exposing the plot and said there was no evidence. talks between Putin and Patrushev have taken place.
Instead, experts say Prigozhin fabricated the alleged plot in a bizarre attempt to smear the Russian military establishment and set “cautious information conditions to blame Patrushev for Wagner’s failures and potential crackdowns.” against the group.
Wagnerian warlord Vevgeny Prigozhin (pictured with Putin) claimed he was tipped off about a plot led by Vladimir Putin to undermine and ‘neutralize’ the fearsome group of Russian mercenaries
Ukrainian soldiers from the 80th Brigade paratroopers fire a mortar shell at a frontline position near Bakhmut, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on Thursday
Since the start of Putin’s war in Ukraine, Prigozhin has publicly criticized Russia’s military and military leaders – and his fondness for senior military brass and anyone else in his way has angered some government officials who want let it be under control.
Now murky claims have emerged that Putin was plotting to ‘neutralise’ Wagner and Prigozhin – or so the warlord would like it to seem.
Prigozhin’s press service yesterday published a series of questions allegedly sent to Wagner’s chief by the Nezivisimaya Gazeta newspaper about an apparent meeting between Putin and Patrushev – details of which were apparently circulating on Telegram.
The alleged press comment claims that Patrushev told Putin that there would be “nothing left” of the Wagner Group in “a month and a half to two months” due to the scale of the losses in the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut where the mercenaries fight Ukrainian troops.
Patrushev also allegedly suggested that after Wagner’s destruction in Ukraine, Prigozhin “will try to unite the old and last active Wagner fighters under some far-fetched pretense and using the resources at his disposal, he will organize them, arm them and will send into the territory of Russia to seize power in the bordering regions of Ukraine was a possible advance inward”.
In response to the alleged press comment, Prigozhin released an audio clip in which he said he had not heard of the alleged plot, saying Russian special services should work to neutralize threats against Russia, whatever their origin.
However, ISW experts said there was no evidence to suggest the talks between Putin and Patrushev took place.
They also pointed out that Nezivisimaya Gazeta did not publish the press comment on its own site – and that there is no record of the comment online other than in reference to Prigozhin’s post.
“The lack of external confirmation on this suggests that Prigozhin fabricated the alleged conspiracy to advance several information operations in Wagner’s name and his own reputation,” the experts said in their latest report.
Ukrainian soldiers from the 80th Paratroopers Brigade take cover as they fire a mortar round at a frontline position near Bakhmut, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the region of Donetsk, Ukraine, Thursday
Nikolai Patrushev (pictured), the head of Russia’s Security Council, reportedly told Putin he believed that after the war in Ukraine, Prigozhin would try to unite his mercenaries and send them to Russia to ‘take power’ in areas bordering Ukraine before potentially advancing inland
Wagner mercenaries in Popasna, Sievierodonetsk district of Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine
ISW experts said the exchange “clearly identifies” Patrushev and possibly the Russian Security Council as “enemies” of Wagner.
“Prigozhin appears to be setting up cautious information conditions to blame Patrushev for Wagner’s failures and potential crackdowns on the group, as well as to introduce a made-up scenario in which Wagner poses a direct threat to Russia domestically. “, said the experts.
“This effort appears to be the next evolution of Prigozhin’s campaign against the Russian military establishment, and Patrushev may become Prigozhin’s next target after his concerted information campaigns against the Russian Defense Ministry and General Staff “, they added.
Prigozhin has become a bit of a headache for Putin and Russian defense chiefs since the start of the war.
He has risen from the shadows to assume great notoriety since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. But his public profile, political clout and penchant for profanely lambasting senior army officers and anyone else in his way have angered some in government who want him to be brought under control.
Indeed, Prigozhin continued to demand that Russia provide him with more ammunition, reinforcements, and cover support if he was to win the months-long attrition battle for Bakhmut.
In January, ISW experts claimed Putin had turned on Prigozhin after he ‘didn’t get the hint’ and continued to boast that his forces were achieving more success than the military Russian.
And Chief Wagner risked further angering the Russian president by calling the Moscow generals a “bunch of clowns.”
Prigozhin is increasingly seen as a growing threat to the Kremlin leader with his daily bluster and outspokenness.
In January, he claimed his ragbag fighters had performed feats superior to those of Soviet soldiers in the Battle of Stalingrad, a key military turning point in World War II.
He also openly mocked General Valery Gerasimov – the Russian commander-in-chief – who ordered Russian soldiers to shave their beards as part of a discipline campaign in the armed forces.
Russia’s defense chiefs were “a bunch of clowns” seeking the “glamorization of the military”, said Prigozhin, a Soviet-era inmate who rose to fame hosting banquets and running online troll factories to Cheese fries.
“Female war correspondents go in the absolute heat of [war]said Prigozhin.
“Prison inmates fight better than guard units. Soldiers with broken vertebrae pass on their military experience in training camps, moving like robots.
“And a bunch of clowns try to teach fighters exhausted from hard military work how often to shave – and what kind of perfume to use when greeting high commanders.”