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Yevgeniy Prigozhin's Ghost To Linger And Haunt Vladimir Putin


Yevgeniy Prigozhin's ghost to linger and haunt Vladimir Putin despite condolences offered. President Vladimir Putin once branded Prigozhin a traitor and sought his removal; however, Putin has been unsuccessful in erasing Prigozhin's critical perspective on the Ukraine war.

The reported demise of Yevgeniy Prigozhin on Wednesday, following the plane crash in which he was listed as a passenger, removes a bold rival to Putin from the stage. However, this news, coupled with conjecture about the possibility of an assassination, will contribute to a prevailing sentiment among certain Russians that the nation has regressed into a period of instability intertwined with the ruthless political dynamics reminiscent of Stalin's era.

Tatiana Stanovaya, a well-connected Russia analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, noted, "Whatever has happened to him, it will be seen by Russian elite as a retaliatory act." She believes that the Kremlin will deliberately foster this perception, portraying Putin as having exacted retribution, regardless of the actual circumstances.

Last month, during an interview with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly at the Aspen Security Forum, CIA Director William J. Burns stated, 'Putin is the ultimate apostle of payback.' Given this perspective, many Russians are likely to speculate that Putin played a part in the private plane crash.

If the information is verified, Putin will have solidified his position in the immediate term. The individual whom he had charged with "armed mutiny" will no longer be a factor. Russian defensive efforts are maintaining their stance in Ukraine against Kyiv. Putin's grip on authority appears more secure than it did two months ago, when Prigozhin directed his Wagner militia to advance toward Moscow.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/yevgeniy-prigozhins-ghost-to-linger-and-haunt-vladimir-putin/ by Cecilia Jones on 2023-08-25T00:10:56.119Z

However, Putin's image of political prowess has been sullied, possibly in an irreversible manner. He has navigated through previous challenges due to his position as mediator among Russia's influential circles and his image of resolute leadership. The uprising led by Prigozhin, however, undermined both aspects.

Reports suggest that certain individuals within the president's close circle might align with Prigozhin's criticism of Putin's hasty intervention in Ukraine and subsequent strategies. Analysts speculate that these uncertainties also extend to the Russian security agencies. Such uncertainties are likely to endure.

Following the plane crash, a small contingent of individuals from Prigozhin's militia took to social media, issuing threats of another "march on Moscow." Their capacity to carry out such a threat is limited. Nonetheless, the elimination of Putin's rival might actually amplify political unease in Russia, rather than quelling it.

Observers of Russia have highlighted the expanding skepticism among the country's elite regarding Putin's unpredictable decision-making. The audacious and ill-considered full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 stands out as the most remarkable instance.

Yet, Putin's missteps have extended beyond that: He procrastinated in mobilizing the Russian military, even as it became evident that the conflict would not conclude swiftly; he vacillated on whether to withdraw troops when they faced potential encirclement in Kherson last autumn; and during Prigozhin's uprising, Putin hesitated for a day before responding decisively.

During the Aspen event, Burns encapsulated the Russian public's response to Putin's hesitance following Prigozhin's June uprising, stating, "The question was, ‘Does the emperor have no clothes?’ Or at least, ‘Why is it taking so long for him to get dressed?'"

Ironically, Putin's solidification of authority likely diminishes the likelihood of an escalation in Ukraine. In the previous autumn, during the collapse of Russian positions in Kharkiv and Kherson, experts perceived a genuine risk that he might resort to tactical nuclear weapons to avert a disastrous defeat. Presently, that peril has receded.

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China remains of paramount significance for Putin's military and political survival. Prigozhin's passing could also serve to bolster confidence in Beijing. Chinese officials reportedly conveyed to U.S. diplomats in recent months their concerns about Russia's endurance in Ukraine, and they devised a potential peace plan as a way out.

Officials within the Biden administration assert that China's assistance is growingly vital for Russia's military presence in Ukraine. While the Chinese are not directly furnishing arms and munitions, reports suggest they are amplifying deliveries of dual-use goods, such as computer chips, which hold critical importance for precision weaponry and drones.

In Washington, a consensus is gradually forming that Ukrainian forces are unlikely to achieve a direct route to the Black Sea this year, which is the territorial objective they are pursuing in their counteroffensive. Nevertheless, certain officials persist in their belief that Ukraine's persistent offensives could rattle the Russian military, persistently eroding its logistical and command-and-control nodes in the rear. As Ukrainian forces breach the initial layers of defense, Russia's defensive lines might reveal vulnerability.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is also anticipated to heighten efforts to bring the conflict closer to Russia, employing drone strikes and covert cross-border incursions.

Prigozhin's communication to the Russian populace was centered around the notion that the war wasn't justified given the immense toll it exacted in terms of lives and resources. He accentuated this sentiment by challenging the leadership of Putin's team and, by implication, Putin himself. On June 23, the day prior to his militia's march on Moscow, Prigozhin stated that the Ukraine war was grounded in falsehood.

He asserted, "There was nothing extraordinary happening on the eve of February 24," the day when Russia initiated its attack last year. He further explained, "The oligarchic clan that rules Russia needed the war. The morally bankrupt scumbags decided, 'The mentally ill scumbags decided: ‘It’s okay, we’ll throw in a few thousand more Russian men as cannon fodder. They’ll die under artillery fire, but we’ll get what we want.'"


This deeply impassioned critique will endure beyond Prigozhin's passing, and should Ukraine and its Western allies sustain the conflict into the following year, it could intensify. Prigozhin stands not so much as a martyr, but as a cautionary tale.

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Cecilia Jones

Cecilia Jones - Cecilia Jones loves to write about movies, music, and the most popular and exciting news.

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