Intelligence: Experts: Prigozhin is “very likely” dead

Intelligence: Experts: Prigozhin is “very likely” dead

Is Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin really dead? This question is also occupying the British Ministry of Defense and US military experts. The federal government also expresses itself.

The Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is “very likely” dead according to British intelligence services. There is still no definitive proof that Prigozhin was on board the crashed plane, especially since he always takes extraordinary security measures, the British Ministry of Defense emphasized. But Prigozhin’s death would profoundly destabilize Wagner’s private army, London said.

“His personal characteristics such as hyperactivity, exceptional boldness, focus on results and extreme brutality shaped Wagner and should not be equaled by any successor,” the British ministry said. The leadership vacuum at Wagner would be exacerbated if reports were true that founder and field commander Dmitry Utkin and logistics chief Valery Chekalov are dead.

The British Ministry of Defense has published daily information on the course of the war since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine in February 2022. Moscow accuses London of disinformation.

Federal government: Prigozhin’s death not surprising

After the alleged death of the Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, the German government believes it is conceivable that his plane crashed intentionally. “A violent end to Prigozhin would not be particularly surprising,” said deputy government spokesman Wolfgang Büchner in Berlin.

At the same time, he emphasized that the federal government had no knowledge of its own about the circumstances of the incident. The head of the private army Wagner is said to have died in a plane crash in Russia on Wednesday evening.

US Institute: Prigozhin’s death ends Wagner’s independence

According to US military experts, the presumed death of mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin means the end of the Wagner Group as a quasi-independent private army.

The loss of the central leader weakens their ability to counter the campaign by the Kremlin and the Russian Defense Ministry to destabilize and destroy the group after their June 24 rebellion, the US Institute for War Studies ISW wrote in its analysis.

The ministry has reportedly already set up private military groups of its own, which recruit current and former Wagner personnel, it said. It is about the control of Wagner operations abroad.

What’s next for the group?

It is unclear whether the Kremlin wants to dissolve Wagner completely or set it up as a smaller organization under the Ministry of Defense. It is possible as a third option that Wagner will remain as a quasi-independent group with a new leadership loyal to the Kremlin, but according to the ISW it is unlikely.

The US experts pointed out that Wagner’s commanders’ council has not publicly commented on the group’s future since Prigozhin’s alleged deadly plane crash. This could speak for a general chaos within the command ranks or for an explicit silence instruction from Russian authorities, wrote the ISW.

Vladimir “Putin’s almost certain assassination of Wagner’s leadership has made it very clear that the Kremlin will be outwardly hostile to those trying to secure the independence of their own parallel military structures,” the analysis said.

A successor to Prigozhin personally chosen by Putin would in turn run the risk of incurring the wrath of the Wagner base. After the Wagner uprising, the Kremlin will likely judge any future establishment of military groups based on its experience with Wagner and Prigozhin, Washington said. The alleged murder of the mercenary leader became a standing threat to everyone who tried to set up similar parallel structures.

Source: Stern

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