Vladimir Putin ally has alarming message for elite Russians, according to new report

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close Vladimir Putin ally, has attracted lots of attention for his public remarks during these past months.

The staunch Vladimir Putin ally who calls for punishing non-believers
© Mikhail Svetlov / Contributeur
The staunch Vladimir Putin ally who calls for punishing non-believers

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian billionaire and founder of the ‘Wagner Mercenary Group’, has been an influential actor during these eight months of the Ukraine War on the side of the Russians.

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Not only has he bolstered Russia’s army in Ukraine with mercenaries, but he has also repeatedly sided with the camp of Putin’s inner circle that has called for escalating the conflict, Bloomberg reports.

Now he has called for punishing members of the Russian elites who are not enthusiastic enough about the Ukraine War.

‘Stalinist Repressions’

In recent comments, Prigozhin has called for enacting ‘Stalinist Repressions’ on Russian business tycoons and others who are not supportive of the war campaign in Ukraine.

According to Business Insider, the term references Joseph Stalin’s political action during 1937 known as the ‘Russia’s Great Purge’ when he eliminated all opponents who did not agree with him and whom he considered a threat.

The remark by Prigozhin has alarmed business executives, and top government officials who have reservations about Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Bloomberg reports.

The staunch Vladimir Putin ally who calls for punishing non-believers Mikhail Svetlov / Contributeur

Power grabbing competition

Prigozhin’saudacious public remarks have become frequent and come without any boundaries.

A report last month suggested Prigozhin arranged for a private audience with Russian President Vladimir Putin to express his frustration about the way Russia’s Defense Ministry is managing the war campaign in Ukraine.

Thereafter, Prigozhin denied having met in private with Vladimir Putin or having a right to criticise the Russian army.

Nevertheless, Ukrainska Pravda reported on Monday that Prigozhin is in conflict with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and some of his deputies.

According to Bloomberg, Andrei Kolesnikov, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, perceives Prigozhin’s outspoken campaign as a fact that he is in a way an authority in itself.

‘Prigozhin is behaving like a parallel government. He may be able to compete for power, if not under Putin then after him.’

Sources used:

-Bloomberg: ‘Rise of Russia Hardliners Sows Fear In Putin’s Elite’

-Business Insider: ‘Russia's elite fear for their safety after a Putin ally advocated punishing those who don't support the war, report says’

-Ukrainska Pravda: ‘Prigozhin in conflict with Shoigu and wants to punish him’

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Vladimir Putin's long-time ally sends alarming message on state TV Vladimir Putin's long-time ally sends alarming message on state TV