In a shocking turn of events, the leader of the Wagner Group, a private military company (PMC) that operates in several conflict zones around the world, has declared war on the Russian Ministry of Defense. Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of President Vladimir Putin and a sanctioned oligarch, accused the Russian military of launching a rocket attack on a Wagner base in Ukraine, killing dozens of his men . He vowed to retaliate and restore justice for the Russian soldiers who have been betrayed by their own country’s leadership.
The Wagner Group is a shadowy organization that has been involved in various wars and covert operations on behalf of the Kremlin, such as in Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Central African Republic. The group is estimated to have around 25,000 fighters, many of them former members of the Russian armed forces or special forces . The group is also notorious for its human rights violations and war crimes, such as the massacre of 100 civilians in Syria in 2018.
Prigozhin is a former convict who became a wealthy businessman after catering for Putin and other high-ranking officials. He is also known as “Putin’s chef” or “the king of the internet” for his role in funding troll farms and disinformation campaigns that have targeted the US and other countries. He has been sanctioned by the US and the EU for his involvement in meddling with the 2016 US presidential election and supporting the separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The reason behind the alleged attack by the Russian military on the Wagner base is unclear, but some analysts suggest that it could be a result of a power struggle between Prigozhin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who have been at odds over the control and direction of Russia’s military operations abroad. Prigozhin has often criticized Shoigu for lying to Putin about Russia’s failures on the battlefield and for being incompetent and corrupt. He has also expressed his dissatisfaction with Putin’s policies and hinted at his ambition to become the next leader of Russia.
The declaration of war by Prigozhin poses a serious challenge to Putin’s authority and stability, as it could spark a civil war within Russia’s security apparatus and undermine its international reputation and influence. It could also escalate the conflict in Ukraine, where Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops near its border and threatened to intervene if Kiev tries to reclaim its territories from the pro-Russian rebels. The international community has condemned Russia’s aggression and urged it to de-escalate the situation and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
This is a developing story and more details will be updated as they become available.