Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner Group mercenaries, with Vladimir Putin at a banquet outside Moscow in 2011
I joined the Australia Broadcasting Corporation’s The World on Thursday to analyze the in-fighting in Moscow over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking with Beverley O’Connor, I focus on the Wagner Group’s Yevgeny Prigozhin. I explain his transition from “Putin’s chef” to founder of a mercenary group — and of “hybrid warfare” interfering in elections such as the 2016 US Presidential contest.
I consider his rise and possible fall: Wagner’s role in Russian offensives is eroded by high casualties and slow advance in eastern Ukraine, and Prigozhin is now seen as a threat rather than an asset for other Russian military and political leaders.
The war in Ukraine isn’t just a war abroad for Vladimir Putin’s goals. It becomes a war at home because rivals vie for influence.
Yevgeny Prigozhin no longer wants to be a servant. He wants to be an equal and possibly a master.