The Apparent Death of Wagner Prigozhin's Boss May Be the Subject of Minor Thrillers, but Could Benefit the Kremlin | CNN (2023)

The Apparent Death of Wagner Prigozhin's Boss May Be the Subject of Minor Thrillers, but Could Benefit the Kremlin | CNN (1)

Video ad review

Why Russian experts believe that Putin could have been behind the plane crash

01:30 - source:CNN


IfYevgenij PrigozinHis final chapter has indeed been written, and he lives as he apparently dies: violent, extravagant, at the center of intrigue.

The truth is just beginning to emerge. Wednesday afternoon Embraer's business jet registered with Wagner's mercenary bossfell from the sky, crashed between the villages of Kurhenkino and Kurhenkinsko in the Tver region of Russia. All 10 people on board were killed.

Russia's National Aviation Agency reportedPrigozhin on board

However, it didn't take long for the theories to start circulating online. Was the plane shot down? Or has a bomb been planted on the ship? Is Prigozhin really dead? Leading Russian propagandist Vladimir Soloviev seemed to suggest the same thing, suggesting in a statement to Telegram that reports of the oligarch's death were premature.

According to Russian state television Rossiya-24, Soloviev suggested that the Ukrainians and their allies were "spreading disinformation" about the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Soloviev, known for his cavalier approach to facts, quickly changed his position. However, the plot of the disaster and Prigorzin's public confrontation with the Kremlin in June seemed to be ripped out of a secondary thriller.

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin talks about making 'Africa freer' in unverified video shared online Telegram/WAGNER_svodki Video Russia expert: What could imply the alleged moment of Prigozhin's death

After all, in the next few daysFailed march on MoscowRussian state television revealed Prigozhin's penchant for wigs,Camouflage and many passports, all found in one of his gangster mansions.

Deceiving the world by making up your own death is not entirely in the style of Prigorzin, who ran the infamous "troll farm" and was involved in meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Despite everything,Russian investigative agencyThe report states that Wagner's bosses apparently hired at least one replacement.

Of course, a sensation, but probably no more than Prigozhin's performance. After all, this man was fighting for better resources for his fighters in Ukraineposting scary photosTheir broken bodies. He also delivered a profanity-filled tirade against senior Russian military officials:He was accused of being a "fat cat", sealing his reputation as a villain in the central cast.

But these speculations miss the point. In any case, Prigozhin is no longer a force in Russian politics. Batya - as his father's nickname was given to him by some of his subordinates - left the building.

Who has the theme?

Russia's top law enforcement agency, the Investigative Committee, launched an investigation into the accident. The investigation was conducted pursuant to Art. 263 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation - Violations of the rules on the operation and safety of air transport.

Having a committee of inquiry lead the program is not a promising solution, at least in terms of transparency in international aviation. After all, law enforcement played a major role in prosecuting opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Waiting for the impartial report of the investigative commission is like expecting Russian state TV hosts to stop accepting the Kremlin's remarks.

A mural depicting mercenaries of the Russian Wagner Group with the inscription: "Wagner Group - Russian Knights" was damaged by paint, in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, January 13, 2023. Darko Vojinovich/AP A dispute between a Russian warlord and General Putin has broken out. it started with a terrible PR campaign

Whether we understand the true cause of the disaster or not, the ongoing investigation does indeed raise an important question: Who would have the motivation and means to get rid of Prigozhin and his top lieutenants?

For many observers, the easiest answer - but by no means the only one - is Putin.

The Prigozhin plane crash occurred about two months after the start of the Prigozhin-Wagner rebellion, which was the biggest challenge to Putin's rule in more than two decades.

A few days after the uprising, an annoyed Putin made it clear that he considered Wagner's actions to be an act of treason. Although he did not mention Prigozhin by name, he accused the "organizers of the revolt" of betraying Russia itself.

This was a serious allegation, but the weeks after the Wagner revolt did not bring swift retaliation from the Kremlin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the military company of the Wagner Group, greets the deceased as he arrives for a funeral at Troyekurovskoye Cemetery in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, April 8, 2023. Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky paid his final tribute. Maxim Fomin, who goes by a pseudonym, died on Sunday, April 2 while moderating a discussion at a riverside cafe in the historic center of St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city. AP/Documents Chief Wagner Says Russian Military Leader 'Sitting Like a Fat Cat' While His Soldiers Are Dying

Wagner fighters were allegedly allowed to relocate to neighboring Belarus under an agreement reached by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Although Prigozhin was discreet, he continued to appear in public,A warm welcome from African officialsOn the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg, he made a statement on the coup d'état in Niger.

But Prigozhin, despite his boast, could remember that revenge was the best dish, at least lukewarm, no matter how many enemies he had.

"hard times"

If - and this is still a big assumption - the Russian government has something to do with the Embraer disaster, it could heighten the feeling that Russia is entering a "time of trouble" as some commentators have said about the Wagner disaster. as it suggests. In Russia, the term refers to a period of lawlessness and violent succession crises in the early 17th century.

The disaster at least brought back unpleasant memories of the anarchist 1990s, when Russians suffered from a failed and abrupt transition to a market economy, and political assassinations were routine headlines.

Under Putin, the window-throwing incident has become a morbidly popular joke about the regime's tendencies.The enemy falls out of the window. Is it possible any other way in terms of breaking windows?

The mysterious plane crash is also a pattern in some high-profile cases in Russian politics.

Russian investigative journalist Artem Borovik died in 2000shortly after takeoffA passenger plane bound for Kiev crashed after taking off from Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. And General Aleksander Łebiedź - former presidential candidate and district starosta -He died in a helicopter crash in 2002, throwing an important political candidate off the landscape.

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin talks about making 'Africa freer' in unverified video shared online

so the question isWhat is better– who can gain from the death of Wagner's boss – may also raise concerns among political observers.

An in-depth analysis of the aftermath of Wagner's failed coup, Wanda Philbab-Brown of the Brookings Institution argues that the Kremlin successfully reorganized some of Prigozhin's activities or placed them under new management.

"Instead of dismantling the Wagner organization in Africa and the Middle East, Russian intelligence will purge the Wagner structure to weaken ties with Prigozhin and strengthen ties with the Kremlin."She wrote

"Such a reorganization would emulate Russian President Vladimir Putin's apparent preference for Russia and Ukraine's Wagner - giving some cadres to the Russian military, disarming others, and allowing others to operate in the existing form of semi-independence, but under Prigozhin's new leadership and powers are minimized."

So from the Kremlin's point of view: if Prigozhin dies, long live the new Prigozhin.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. An Powlowski

Last Updated: 09/01/2023

Views: 5582

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. An Powlowski

Birthday: 1992-09-29

Address: Apt. 994 8891 Orval Hill, Brittnyburgh, AZ 41023-0398

Phone: +26417467956738

Job: District Marketing Strategist

Hobby: Embroidery, Bodybuilding, Motor sports, Amateur radio, Wood carving, Whittling, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Prof. An Powlowski, I am a charming, helpful, attractive, good, graceful, thoughtful, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.