Prigozhin Forecasts Disaster if Russia Does Not Move Into Total War Footing

Mr. Prigozhin stated his Wagner power alone had misplaced 20,000 males through the struggle in Ukraine, half of whom had been recruited from prisons. These convict fighters signify 20 % of the full variety of imprisoned convicts who joined the preventing power.

A State Division spokesman, Matthew Miller, stated that the US thought-about Mr. Prigozhin’s quantity a big undercount of his losses. Even so, it’s considerably greater than the Russian Armed Forces’ losses that the Kremlin has acknowledged. Whereas American estimates vary considerably greater, the Russian authorities has admitted solely the deaths of 6,000 troopers — statistics final publicly shared in September.

Mr. Prigozhin’s feedback within the interview got here after an incursion into Russia’s Belgorod area by Ukraine-aligned militants. The fighters, ethnic Russians who search Ukraine’s victory, apparently used U.S.-made armored automobiles, and instigated the fiercest preventing on Russian soil because the struggle began 15 months in the past.

Mr. Prigozhin stated Ukraine had “one of many strongest armies on this planet” and added that the violence on the border mirrored poor management on the highest stage of Russian navy. He has typically singled out Protection Minister Sergei Ok. Shoigu as the article of his ire, and within the interview, Mr. Prigozhin outlined his private credo as, “I really like my motherland, I serve Putin, Shoigu ought to be judged and we’ll combat on.”

In short remarks throughout a gathering with colleagues on Wednesday, Mr. Shoigu supplied no response to Mr. Prigozhin’s feedback and maintained that Russia would “reply promptly and very harshly” to any additional incursions by “Ukrainian militants.”

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Many analysts and different observers marvel at Mr. Prigozhin’s common diatribes in opposition to Russia’s elite in a society that’s strictly managed, and particularly his focused criticisms of Mr. Shoigu.

“He’s taking part in a really harmful sport,” one rich Moscow-based businessman stated of Mr. Prigozhin in an interview with The New York Occasions in late March, asking for anonymity to debate a outstanding Kremlin-connected particular person. “If he doesn’t cease, he’ll wind up like Aleksei Navalny.” Mr. Navalny, Russia’s most outstanding opposition politician, is now sick in a penal colony.

Jean Nicholas

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