Vladimir Putin's top ally shocks with 'defiant' statement that could upset the Russian leader

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close Putin ally and the founder of the 'Wagner Mercenary Group' has praised the Ukrainian President.

Vladimir Putin ally praises Volodymyr Zelensky
Vladimir Putin ally praises Volodymyr Zelensky

Yevgeny Prigozhin was for years known merely asPutin's chef until he confirmed he is the founder of the 'Wagner Mercenary Group' or as analysts call it 'Putin's private army'.

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The Wagner mercenaries have been in charge of dirty work for Russia in many countries, like Syria, Libya, Mali, and now Ukraine.

Reportedly, the group is behind some of the alleged heinous war crimes including the massacre in Bucha.

'Strong leader'

A report now suggests Prigozhin has paid tribute to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Daily Mail reports.

According to Prigozhin, Zelenskyy is strong and confident and deserves respect.

'Although he is the president of a country hostile to Russia at the moment, Zelensky is a strong, confident, pragmatic and nice guy.'

Prigozhin said that an enemy needs to be respected in order to grow stronger and win.

'Don’t underestimate him. Always look for flaws in yourself, and see what’s good and important that can be learned from the experience of the enemy.'
Vladimir Putin ally praises Volodymyr Zelensky Future Publishing / Contributeur

Open defiance to the Kremlin

The statements by Prigozhin are contradictory to the narrative set out by the Kremlin officials who often portrayed Zelenskyy as a ‘drunk and drug addict’, Daily Mirror reports.

Experts have been surprised by the audacious comments of Prigozhin and called it open defiance to the Kremlin, The Straits Times reports.

According to Tatiana Stanovaya, a Russian political analyst says Prigozhin’s comments are something no one else among the elites dares to express.

'Prigozhin dared. He thinks he has a right and he thinks it wouldn’t anger Putin.'

Last week reports suggested that Prigozhin confronted Vladimir Putin privately to express concern about the way Russia has handled the military situation in Ukraine. Something which Prigozhin denied saying he has never met Putin privately and that he has no right to criticise the Russian Army.

Sources used:

-Daily Mail: 'Putin ally who founded Wagner mercenary group praises Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky as a 'strong and confident leader' who must not be 'underestimated' - in defiance of the Kremlin'

-The Straits Times:'Putin ally Prigozhin praises Ukraine’s Zelensky as ‘strong, confident’ leader'

- The Telegraph: 'Friction at top of Kremlin as high-profile Putin ally praises 'strong leader' Zelensky'

Vladimir Putin's former ally and top Russian general Gennady Zhidko has passed away at 57 Vladimir Putin's former ally and top Russian general Gennady Zhidko has passed away at 57