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Russia. Prigozhin and the rebellion of the Wagner group. Who belongs to Putin’s inner circle

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The head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was until recently a close and powerful ally of Vladimir Putin, but has never been part of his inner circle, writes in his analysis of the BBC. Who is in it now?

Already at the very beginning of the rebellion, Prigozhin mentioned two names – the Minister of Defense of Russia Sergey Shoigu and chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces and commander-in-chief of the army at Ukraine Valery Gerasimov. This he wanted to talk to them before marching on Moscow. As the British portal writes, both have been in Prigozhin’s sight for months. He also blamed both of them for the deaths of tens of thousands of Russians war in Ukraine. Both have so far been considered the president’s closest associates.

SEE ALSO: Matysiak: everyone is wondering how long Prigozhin will live

The circle of Putin’s closest associates

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As the BBC points out in its analysis, if someone listens to the president of Russia, it is him his defense minister Sergei Shoigu – “a long-time confidante, who in the past went with him on hunting and fishing escapades to Siberia, was also seen as a potential successor.” He obediently submitted to Putin’s line on the war. And although after the start of the invasion it quickly turned out that the triumphal entry into Kiev would not succeed, and the following months showed extraordinary Ukrainian resistance and low morale of the Russian military, Putin still takes his voice into account.

Shoigu http://kremlin.ru/

The BBC cites journalist, writer and security expert Andrei Soldatov, who suggested that the defense minister is the most influential voice the president hears. “Shoigu is responsible not only for the military, but also partly for ideological issues – and in Russia ideology is mainly about history. He controls the narrative,” he is quoted by the BBC.

task Valery Gerasimov there was a quick invasion of Ukraine. According to the BBC, according to this criterion, the chief of the general staff failed. But “Vladimir Putin clearly believes in him.” The general played an important role in Russia’s military campaigns – he commanded the army in the 1999 Chechen war, led military planning for operations in Ukraine, overseeing military exercises in Belarus. invasion in Ukraine, he was appointed commander of the invasion force in January.

Gerasimov and Putin in April 2018kremlin.ru

In Putin’s immediate surroundings, we also find three people he has known since the 1970s, still from Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He is the secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushevthe head of the security service Alexander Bortnikov and head of foreign intelligence Sergei Naryshkin. “Few have as much influence over the president as Nikolai Patrushev,” writes a BBC analysis. The portal notes that not only did they work together in the KGB during the communist era, but Patrushev was also Putin’s successor as head of the FSB (Federal Security Service). Bortnikov and his services provide the president with information he trusts “more than any other source.” As the portal writes, Naryshkin’s task is to “provide the president with the ideological basis for his actions.”

Nikolai Patrushev is Vladimir Putin’s right-hand manwww.kremlin.ru

SEE ALSO: “The most hawkish of hawks”, he was supposed to persuade Putin to go to war. Will it replace him?

Among the people Putin listens to, the BBC lists several other names. An important element is Sergei Lavrov. This is the face of Putin’s Russia in the world. “He has been Russia’s top diplomat for 19 years, bringing Russia’s cause to the world, although he is not considered to play a large role in decision-making,” writes the BBC. The “female face” in Putin’s entourage is Valentina Matviyenko, Chairwoman of the Council of the Russian Federation. It was she – as the portal notes – “oversaw the vote of the upper house to seal the deployment of Russian forces abroad, paving the way for the invasion.” Another person in the circle of close associates of the dictator is Viktor Zolotovcommander of the Federal Service of the National Guard Troops of Russia, considered to be Putin’s personal guard. Although in Poland it is often associated with memes, British defense intelligence wrote on the occasion of Saturday’s events that it was the Russian security forces “a especially the national guard” were to be of crucial importance for the course of the Prigozhin crisis.

Gen. Viktor Zolotov observes Barrier 2015 exercisesvvmvd.ru

SEE ALSO: Jan Piekło: the further fate of Prigozhin will show how weak Putin is

Main photo source: http://kremlin.ru/

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