Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

 

Wagner Group

Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner group mercenary organisation, is anticipated to go to Belarus as part of a settlement negotiated by the president of Belarus, putting an end to a serious, albeit transient, challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s power. According to a Kremlin spokeswoman, Prigozhin won’t face charges, and Wagner soldiers who refrained from joining what Putin dubbed a “rebellion” would be integrated into the Russian Defence Ministry.

 

What you need to know :

• Early on Saturday, Prigozhin’s soldiers, which have joined Russian troops in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, gained control of a Russian military installation and marched towards Moscow, passing the city by a distance of roughly 120 miles.

• Late on Friday, Prigozhin issued a plea for Russians to support Wagner’s campaign, alleging that a Wagner camp in Ukraine had been attacked “from the rear” by Russian forces. State media said the strike’s footage had been manufactured, and the Defence Ministry refuted the charge. The Defence Ministry had been allegedly failing to provide Prigozhin’s men with enough ammunition for weeks, and he had blamed its commanders of being incompetent. Experts questioned how long the Wagner boss would be able to get away with it under the oppressive regime.

 • Rob Lee, a senior scholar at the Eurasia Programme of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said that there were very few, if any, Wagner forces on the front lines, making it unlikely that the scuffle would have any impact on the battlefield. Lee said that Wagner forces were “designed for offensive operations,” and that Russia is currently defending its seized areas against an invasion by Ukraine.

• This month, U.S. espionage services discovered information indicating that Prigozhin was preparing to take violent action against Russia’s defence establishment. Officials indicated that the United States would be concerned about instability resulting from a “civil war” and alerted the White House, Pentagon, State Department, and leaders in Congress of the development.

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