Prigozhin, a 62-year-old Russian oligarch, famously known as "Putin's chef" due to his close ties to the Russian president, is facing serious allegations of incitement to armed rebellion against top Russian military officials. (Related: Was Prigozhin’s mutiny a Western intelligence op derailed by Russian spies?)
Based on intelligence assessments, Russian security services had warned Putin about the possible rebellion two to three days prior to the incident. While some measures were taken to boost security at strategic facilities, including the Kremlin, the lack of decisive action from Putin's side left officials in confusion.
European security officials, supported by corroborating statements from Western governments, revealed that the lack of clear orders from the Kremlin's top command left local officials to decide independently on how to respond to the Wagner troops.
Heavily armed Wagner troops entered the Russian city of Rostov and seized control of the main command center of the military before moving toward Moscow. The attempted mutiny exposed the reluctance of Putin to confront a warlord who had gained significant support within Russia's security establishment over the years.
However, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin's spokesman, dismissed the intelligence assessments as "nonsense" and insisted they were shared with no credible information.
The situation has exposed the vulnerabilities in Putin's management system, which relies on pitting rival clans against each other. With no clear commands from the leadership, local military and security chiefs opted not to confront the Wagner troops, assuming there might be tacit support from the Kremlin.
While some within the power structures supported Prigozhin's attempts to clean up the leadership, others were horrified by the mutiny attempt and the Kremlin's lackluster reaction.
The crisis ended after Prigozhin brokered a deal with the help of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, leading to the withdrawal of Wagner troops and avoiding major bloodshed. However, this episode has left Putin significantly weakened, and critics argue that he failed to make important and timely decisions during a critical situation.
With Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Wagner Group has been increasingly relied upon by the Russian military, especially after suffering significant losses. The group, primarily active in Syria and parts of Africa before, took on a more significant role in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. However, tensions between Prigozhin and Russia's military leaders have been simmering for some time.
In February, Prigozhin openly criticized Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov for not adequately supporting his forces and failing to conduct the war effectively. His troops suffered heavy casualties during the intense fighting in the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
The situation escalated further when Prigozhin accused the Russian military of carrying out a strike on a Wagner camp in Ukraine, an accusation vehemently denied by the Defense Ministry. Subsequently, he called on fellow Russians to join a "march of justice" against Shoigu and Gerasimov, accusing them of lying about the war in Ukraine and downplaying the number of casualties.
The call for a "march of justice" has led to accusations of incitement to armed rebellion against Prigozhin, further deepening the rift between the Wagner Group leader and the Russian military establishment.
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Watch the video below discussing Yevgeny Prigozhin's short-lived rebellion.
This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.