Prigozhin warns of revolution in Russia
Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin is well known for his criticism of the Russian military leadership. But in a recent interview he used words that are unusually harsh even for his standards. An incompetent military elite has "fucked up" the war in Ukraine, and there could now even be a revolution, he said. After the Pyrrhic victory in Bakhmut commentators ask just what the mercenary leader could be getting at.
For Corriere della Sera it's clear that Prigozhin is putting himself in the running for the upcoming elections:
“These are messages addressed to the interior of the country. ... It should not be forgotten that we are in an election year. Regional elections and mayoral elections in Moscow are due to take place on 10 September. This is a rehearsal for the next presidential elections, which will be held at the beginning of March. Prigozhin speaks many truths. About how the tide of the war is turning: the idea was to wipe out Ukraine and now it's loved by the whole world. Russia wanted to destroy its army and only made it stronger. But he also speaks many lies: Yesterday he said he had no political ambitions.”
Populism that serves either Putin or someone else
A lot is being done to foster the desire for a populist leader even if it's not certain who that could be, journalist Maxim Trudolyubov comments on Facebook:
“Firstly, this is an attempt to shift the blame for the failure of the war onto the Ministry of Defence and Shoigu personally. Secondly, it is an attempt to relaunch Putin (or Prigozhin himself?) as a 'good' populist leader. ... A rather transparent message, because once again a war was started by one 'them' (the West) and lost by another 'them' (the elites). Both these forces are supposedly different from the figure of Putin, who has nothing to do with the war but is only grieving over the dead.”