Putin, on the other hand, depends on the “Wagnerians” in the battles for Bakhmut and is probably trying to appease Prigozhin.
Prigozhin can freely advertise himself and his fighters in Russia / REUTERS
The leader of the “Wagner” Communist Party Yevgeny Prigozhin continues to increase his power in Russia. This threatens Putin himself.
This is stated in reports Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Analysts note that currently Prigozhin can afford the luxury of managing the “Wagnerians” without the direct control of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
At the same time, the rapprochement between Prigozhin and the terrorist Girkin is probably aimed at consolidating the Russian far-right and forming an “electorate” among the latter to support the escalation of the war against Ukraine.
Moreover, Prigozhin can freely promote himself and his fighters in Russia, which puts him in a “uniquely advantageous position.”
Putin, on the other hand, depends on the “Wagnerians” in the battles for Bakhmut and is probably trying to appease Prigozhin, although he undermines the authority of the regular army, experts note.
In addition, Prigozhin is so popular among the Russian audience because he does not hold an official position and freely criticizes the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.
At the same time, the status and influence of the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, from whom Prigozhin noticeably distanced himself after October 1, when “Putin’s cook” supported his criticism of Shoigu and Gerasimov, is being lost.
Overthrow of Putin’s power
In recent months, against the background of repeated defeats of the Russian Armed Forces on the battlefield, talks about Putin’s regime change in Russia have become more frequent.
The confrontation between officials of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and private military companies represented by Prigozhin reached a new level when Kadyrov called for General Lapin to be sent to the front “to wash away the blood of soldiers.”
Kadyrov’s words were publicly supported by Prigozhin, who is actively recruiting prisoners to the front.
As Reuters writes, so far Putin is not in danger within the walls of the Kremlin, but if Russia does not achieve success in Ukraine by the spring of 2023, the Russian president will have problems.
According to Western analysts, Kremlin propagandists and Putin’s closest entourage are doing everything to whiten the president’s reputation against the background of constant defeats on the battlefield in front of citizens.
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