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Yevgeny Prigozhin is a "Dead Man Walking" After Leading Botched Rebellion Against Putin
Prigozhin's Failed Attempt to Overthrow Putin
Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, believes Yevgeny Prigozhin is a "dead man walking" after leading a failed rebellion against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prigozhin, who founded the Wagner private militia group and was previously a Putin ally, unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the government. The rebellion was seen as one of the biggest threats to Putin's 23-year reign, as the Wagner mercenaries got within 200 kilometers from Moscow before abruptly aborting the mission.
Putin has imprisoned and assassinated individuals for less than what Prigozhin did to him. It is unlikely that Putin will allow him to live for a long time to come, given the events that transpired over the weekend. The Kremlin was left scrambling to protect Moscow after Wagner fighters took control of Rostov-on-Don, where the Southern Military District for the Russian military is located.
Deal Brokered and Show of Putin's Weakness
Prigozhin was to go into exile in Belarus as part of a deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in exchange for abandoning the insurrection. After Prigozhin refused to sign contracts with the Defense Ministry by July 1, the feud between him and the Moscow military intensified. Prigozhin then decided to launch an armed rebellion after accusing the Russian army of firing at his mercenaries. This event showed unprecedented weakness on Putin's part.
Wagner Mercenaries' Role in Putin's War on Ukraine
The Wagner fighters have been a crucial force in Putin's campaign against Ukraine, and they played a significant role in the capture of the eastern city of Bakhmut. Tatiana Stanovaya, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, stated that Prigozhin's attempt was not a demand for governmental overthrow but was instead a desperate effort to preserve his activities. Prigozhin hoped that his endeavors in taking Bakhmut would be taken into account and catch Putin's attention, which did not seem to occur.
Ongoing Strength of Putin's Regime
Despite the events that transpired over the weekend, it is essential to recognize that Putin's announcement to step down as president was unlikely. Not a single senior military figure, member of government, or Russian oligarch defected. Therefore, to believe that Putin is near the brink of leaving power is baseless. The botched rebellion showed Putin's vulnerability and that his grip over the country may not be as strong as once thought, but his position in power still remains steady.
The failed rebellion led by Yevgeny Prigozhin against Russian President Vladimir Putin serves as a stark reminder of Putin's power and control over the country. While this event may not immediately impact a new business, it highlights the risks of doing business in an authoritarian regime. Putin has shown in the past that he is willing to use extreme measures to maintain his grip on power, including imprisonment and assassination. With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the push for global dominance, it is important for businesses to carefully consider the potential risks and consequences of operating in Russia.
Despite the weakness shown by Putin in the wake of the rebellion, his position in power remains strong. It is unlikely that he will step down anytime soon, as no senior military figure or Russian oligarch has defected. However, the events do showcase the fact that no regime is invulnerable, and that even seemingly stable governments can be threatened by internal unrest. As such, businesses looking to operate in Russia should thoroughly evaluate the local political climate and assess the potential risks and consequences before making any investment decisions.