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What we don’t know about Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rebellion

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After Saturday’s revolt by the head of the mercenary group Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, many questions arose, including those regarding the political future of the authorities in the Kremlin, writes the independent Russian portal The Bell. According to experts in Moscow, Prigozhin “started the rebellion, he had no plan, and his goal was to attract the attention of President Vladimir Putin.”

We still don’t know where Yevgeny Prigozhin is now, the independent portal The Bell, founded by the former editor of the Russian edition of “Forbes” Yelizaveta Osetyńska, noted on Monday.

Late Saturday evening, Prigozhin left Rostov-on-Don in a black SUV. He waved to the large crowd of supporters and shook hands with some through the open window. There were applause and cries of “The Wagner Group is strength”.

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Yevgeny Prigozhin leaves Rostov-on-Don. Photo from June 24 ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO / Reuters / Forum

The Bell recalled a Sunday statement from Prigozhin’s press service that “he will answer all questions when there is a normal connection with him.” The head of the Wagner Group broke the silence on Monday, saying his goal “wasn’t to overthrow the Kremlin,” but his whereabouts are still unknown. The formation’s mercenaries left the Rostov, Voronezh and Lipetsk oblasts and probably retreated to the places of dislocation in the occupied territories Ukraine The Bell stressed.

The Wagner Group revolt hour by hour. This is how Prigozhin challenged Putin. He finally laid down his weaponAngelika Maj/Facts after noon TVN24


The details also remain unknown agreement concluded between Prigozhin and the authorities in the Kremlinapart from those announced by the president’s spokesman. Dmitry Peskov announced that Prigozhin would leave for Belarusand that the criminal proceedings against him will be discontinued and that the mercenaries who took part in the rebellion will not be tried.

On Monday, however, Russian media reported that the Federal Security Service was continuing its investigation into the “march” of the Wagnerians on Moscow.

Wagnerians among civilians in Rostov-on-Don. Photo from June 24 PAP/EPA

Wagnerians in Rostov-on-DonPAP/EPA/STRINGER

Wagnerians in Rostov-on-Don in southern RussiaEPA/STRINGER

“Surprise” in the West

We also do not know how long the rebellion “was ripening”. On Sunday, the Western press, citing American intelligence, published publications that Prigozhin had been preparing for an armed rebellion since mid-June, but its pace and scale still surprised the West, The Bell wrote.

According to Russian experts interviewed by journalists from the independent Internet television Nastoyashcheye Vremya, Prigozhin “when starting the rebellion had no plan, and his goal was to attract the attention of the president Vladimir PutinFormer MP and oppositionist Gennady Gudkov said that it was obvious when the Wagnerian troops entered Rostov-on-Don.

“They didn’t occupy the seats of government, they didn’t set their own rules, they didn’t change the mayor or the governor. Apart from seizing the headquarters of the Southern Military District, they did nothing else. And even at the headquarters they did nothing: they just came and demanded extradition Sergey Shoigu (Minister of Defense) and Valery Gerasimov (Chief of the General Staff), Gudkov said.

The Wagner Group in Rostov-on-Don

The Wagner Group in Rostov-on-DonReuters

The role of Lukashenko

The question is also what is the real role of Alyaksandr Lukashenko in the negotiations with Prigozhin. Belarusian government media reported that it was Lukashenka who “saved Russia from a bloody battle”, without revealing any details, The Bell reported.

Also unclear is the role of Alexei Dyumin, former Putin’s bodyguard, currently the governor of the Tula Oblast, in the negotiations. “The fact that he played it is known only from Telegram channels. One of them wrote that Dyumin is a worthy candidate for Russia’s defense minister. One of the conspiracy theories is that it was Dyumin who was able to force Putin to find some solution in the case of Prigozhin,” the journalists of the independent portal stressed.

Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin. Illustrative photo kremlin.ru

Changes in the Ministry of Defence?

They also raise the question of whether the Wagnerian rebellion will be followed by personnel changes in the Ministry of Defence. “Prigozhin was supposed to demand the expulsion of Shoigu and Gerasimov, but there is no solid evidence for this. video from Shoiguwhich is the final signal that Shoigu is in office and will apparently remain defense minister,” writes Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin political scientist.

The question is also who will bear responsibility for the blood spilled during the “walk of justice,” wrote The Bell. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Ihnat previously said that Wagner Group mercenaries shot down two Russian attack helicopters and five planes. Four of them are transport machines. One of the downed planes – according to media reports – was a military Il-22M. There was also information about the downing of Ka-52 and Mi-8 helicopters. According to Telegram channels, at least 15 Russian soldiers were killed.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA

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