Wagner, “Prigozhin Coup Would Have Failed”: Examining the Numbers

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner mercenary force, recently accused the Russian military leadership of killing a large number of his fighters in an air strike and vowed to punish them. However, the Russian Defense Ministry denied the accusations, calling them an “informational provocation”. Prigozhin’s actions were labeled as “calling for an armed rebellion” by the FSB, Russia’s domestic intelligence service, which has opened a criminal case against him. Prigozhin’s Wagner private militia has been fighting on behalf of Moscow in the Ukraine war, and he has repeatedly accused the military leadership of failing to supply his troops with enough ammunition.

Prigozhin’s feud with the defense ministry reached new heights when he claimed that his fighters had crossed from Ukraine into the Russian border city of Rostov-on-Don and that they would fight anyone who tried to stop them. However, the Wagner insurrection appeared to end as abruptly as it started when the Kremlin said that Prigozhin agreed to leave Russia for Belarus in a deal apparently brokered by the country’s leader, Alexander Lukashenko. Prigozhin’s failed march gave some insight into the strength of the central state, which Putin has intently engineered during his rule.

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