Just as the Wagner Group appears to be on track to bring Moscow its first battlefield victory in Ukraine in months, founder Evgeny Prigozhin has apparently been overshadowed by the Kremlin. Released a nearly four-minute video of the threat.
Unlike the video released the day before, Prigozhin happily boasted that Wagner was on the brink of victory. bahmutthis time he spoke solemnly in a dark room, warning of bloody consequences for Russia if his men “withdrew” now.
“If Wagner withdraws from Bahmut now, the whole front will collapse,” he said.
“The situation will be uncomfortable for all military organizations protecting Russian interests,” he added. [Russian] The army will be “forced to stabilize the front”, “Crimea will fall” and “many other cataclysms” will occur.
He predicted that Wagner would be the scapegoat because Russia lost the war, and that the mercenaries under his command would know exactly who was to blame for the betrayal. It’s just a matter of lack of ammunition … regular fighters … They will come and say, “Boss, this story is somewhere in the Ministry of Defense, or more than that, asking the Russian people why we are doing this. What if they want to set us up and say we’re the villains?
Seemingly trying to unearth the message that Wagner, and not the Russian regular army, was maintaining the Kremlin’s war machine, Prigogine put his mercenaries in the “cement” that holds the entire war effort together “at the very top.” I have repeatedly explained.
It is not clear whether his message was intended as an ultimatum to send powerful defense officials support for Wagner, which Prigogine repeatedly claimed the Defense Ministry was deliberately withholding. Or if the mercenary group was simply a request to be credited for their ruthless performance on the battlefield.
It has long been said that Prigogine had the ears of President Vladimir Putin, but in recent weeks there have been growing signs that he is now a thorn in the Kremlin.
His simmering feud with top Russian military officials led last month to publicly accuse Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov of committing “treason” in an attempt to “destroy” Wagner. Overwhelmed the regular army on the battlefield.
He suggested that it was also their fault that Wagner was excluded from recruiting prisoners for the war effort.
But the Kremlin has so far defended its own military and excluded Wagner from any announcements about the situation. Also, some people close to Prigogine reportedly fear that his rise to power could backfire dramatically. An unnamed source in his circle said, financial times “There is a risk that he will become like Icarus,” he said late last month.
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