“Senior business executives and government officials have watched with growing worry as players they once considered marginal like Yevgeny Prigozhin, known for his Wagner mercenary company and recruiting of prison inmates to fight in Ukraine, have become the public forces behind Vladimir Putin’s push to step up his increasingly all-encompassing war effort.
Prigozhin’s public calls for “urgent Stalinist repressions” against business tycoons who aren’t sufficiently enthusiastic about supporting the war effort have led some rich Russians to fear for their own safety and that of their families, they said. Prigozhin’s open attacks on top military commanders – some of whom have been subsequently removed – and the prominent Putin ally who is governor of St. Petersburg, have added to worry within the bureaucracy about the Kremlin’s unwillingness or inability to defend its own.”
Comment: IMO the wheels are coming off the baby carriage in Russia. The blatant indifference of Russian officers to the needs of their men and the widespread reports of the desertion by officers in command of their men on the battlefield set the stage for the rise of creatures like this Prigozhin. He reminds of Himmler who built an alternative structure of power in Nazi Germany. pl