Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, predicts a new Russian revolution if the “elite” continues to protect its children from military service.
In (another) high-profile interview, this time with Konstantin Dolgov, a Russian war blogger who believes the Kremlin should be tougher on Ukraine, Prigozhin was highly critical. Not only about the course of the war and how Russia actually shaped Ukraine into a nation and military superpower through conquest – which was not the intent – but in particular his flogging of the Russian elite seemed infuriating and frightening.
According to Progozhin, there is a “public outrage” in Russia about the lavish lives of the rich and powerful sons of Russia, while the common people have to make a lot of sacrifices in the war against Ukraine. If the rich continue to protect their children from war, their expensive homes may soon be raided by “people with sticks,” warns the Wagner chief.
He denounces Ksenia Shoigu, the daughter of his opponent, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. She can be seen regularly in videos, for example on vacation in Dubai with her fiance Alexei Stolyarov, a fitness blogger, who Prigozhin believes could have been more helpful in the introduction.
It was better for the children of the elite to remain silent. Some show a bold and carefree life. This gap could end as it did in 1917, with a revolution. When the soldiers revolt first and then the soldiers’ loved ones. He believes that the elite should ensure that their children, who often enjoy shopping in London and Paris, are returned to Russia and sent to the front.
According to observers, this time Prigozhin goes too far in his verbal attacks on wealthy and influential countrymen. As a former friend and caterer of Vladimir Putin, he can still afford a lot, but the question is whether he should also be careful. Other critics of the Russian regime have fallen out the window or been poisoned for less. Yet Prigozhin still has a lot of credit with Putin because his Wagner army made great sacrifices in the prestige battle for Bashmut, which the Kremlin says is now won by Russia. Prigozhin said earlier that this victory would have cost 20,000 of his men.
In the interview, Prigozhin discusses an “optimistic scenario”: Western support for Ukraine is fading and China signs a peace agreement allowing Russia to keep Ukrainian-occupied territories. But he doesn’t have much faith in this good outcome. Prigozhin does not rule out that Ukraine will succeed in the long-awaited counterattack and push the Russian forces back to the pre-2014 borders. “They can also attack Crimea and also continue to the east, armed with more Western weapons. Most likely, this scenario will not be good for us. So, We have to prepare for a tough war.”
In the interview with Dolgov, Prigozhin asserts that he utters his harsh words out of love for his motherland and loyalty to Vladimir Putin. But at the same time he is very critical of his decision to turn Ukraine into a “special military operation”. According to Progogin, this measure only served to make the neighboring country stronger.
Wagner’s chief said, “Instead of disarming, the invasion turned the Ukrainian army into one of the most powerful in the world.” and Ukrainians to “a nation that the whole world knows”.
“If at the beginning of the special operation they had, figuratively speaking, 500 tanks, now they have 5,000. If they had 20,000 fighters who know how to fight, now they have 400,000. How did we “disarm”? Now it turns out that we militarized it – hell knows how.”
Prigozhin said again earlier this week that his fighters will leave Bashmut in early June, possibly in a bid to put his hated Defense Minister Shoigu in charge of taking control of the city, which Ukrainian President Zelensky says will certainly be recaptured.
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