Recently, many people have speculated whether the leader of the infamous Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has an aim for political power in Russia.
Some experts singled him out as a potential threat to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but in February, former Kremlin advisor Sergei Markov claimed that Prigozhin had promised the Kremlin Not to create a political movement or join a political party in Russia – unless asked to do so by the Kremlin.
Although writing now Medusa Russian independent newspaper That the leader of Wagner has plans to take over the Russian party only Russia. A Norwegian expert expects it to have dire consequences.
– He will live dangerously
Medusa quotes two unnamed sources close to the Kremlin that Prigozhin allegedly wants a central position in the political party.
– It’s no secret that Prigozhin has his own political ambitions, and therefore it is not unrealistic for him to apply himself to politics. But there is a long way to go from being the leader of a political party, to having real political power in Russia, retired General Arne Bord-Dalhough tells Dagbladet.
Dalhoge points out that not everyone associated with a political party or the State Duma in Russia necessarily wields political power.
– The Kremlin probably wouldn’t be terribly interested in Prigozhin becoming a Russian party politician – what is problematic is whether he has ambitions to become a player in future presidential elections. Putin is not afraid that someone else will be voted in as the country’s next president. He is afraid that people will gather around who can dethrone him. Putin will only feel threatened the moment Prigozhin is seen as a rival. Then he will begin to live dangerously.
– If Prigozhin turns out to be a political challenge to Putin, how far is the Kremlin willing to go to overcome the problem?
After all his criticism of the Russian military, it is already seen as a problem for the Kremlin. Prigozhin has already crossed Putin’s line, and if he also presents himself as a political threat, he undoubtedly risks an assassination attempt.
– There is a good chance that Prigozhin will mysteriously disappear or fall out the window in the next few months. It is also not excluded that he will be subject to a bomb attack, as is the case in Ukraine. In this case, it will be easy for the Kremlin to get away with it, as they will blame Ukraine.
Prigozhin has repeatedly criticized the Russian military and its strategy in Ukraine. It bothered the Kremlin for a long time, but the Russian leadership continued to brush off the problem.
Dalhough believes this is because Prigozhin’s death will present challenges to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
– Wagner is important in the fighting in Ukraine, and if Prigozhin dies, someone else must be found to lead the group of mercenaries. It was Prigozhin who built the Wagner Group, he was always there and respected by the soldiers. It will not be easy to find an heir suitable for the role and accepted by the soldiers – and Russia knows that, he explains.
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