Putin's Authority Strengthened by Prigozhin's Presumed Death, Says Kremlin Critic
Prominent Kremlin critic Bill Browder suggests that the presumed death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the Wagner Group, will solidify President Vladimir Putin's authority. Prigozhin was believed to have been killed in a plane crash, along with nine others, including senior Wagner commander Dmitry Utkin. The crash, which occurred in the Tver region of Russia, is under investigation, with speculation that Prigozhin may have been targeted following his armed mutiny against the Russian government in June. Browder asserts that Putin's operating procedure is to never forgive or forget, and Prigozhin's demise will cement the president's authority. The Russian Embassy in London has not commented on the matter.
Prigozhin had maintained a low profile since leading his march on Moscow in June, but a recent video surfaced where he expressed his desire to make Africa "more free" and elevate Russia's influence on every continent. The presumed death of Prigozhin has drawn reactions from various experts. Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, sees it as a reminder that Putin remains in control and that consequences for opposing him are deadly. Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak believes Prigozhin's apparent elimination sends a clear message to Russia's elites ahead of the 2024 elections: disloyalty equals death.
Samantha de Bendern, an associate fellow at the Chatham House think tank, notes the timing of the plane crash in relation to the dismissal of Russian Gen. Sergei Surovikin as head of the country's aerospace forces. This suggests a need for tidying up before removing Prigozhin and his associates, sending a message to all elites that opposing Putin will have dire consequences. Garry Kasparov, a Kremlin critic, believes that the situation is dangerous and highlights a lack of trust and loyalty among those who remain in Putin's inner circle.
In conclusion, the presumed death of Yevgeny Prigozhin is expected to strengthen Putin's authority, according to Kremlin critic Bill Browder. The circumstances surrounding Prigozhin's demise and the reactions from experts point to a dangerous and tumultuous situation within Putin's inner circle. The impact of these events on Russian politics and the future of Putin's leadership remains uncertain.
Implications for New Businesses
The presumed death of Yevgeny Prigozhin and its potential impact on President Vladimir Putin's authority could have significant implications for new businesses, particularly those operating in Russia or dealing with Russian entities.
Political Stability and Business Environment
Political stability is a crucial factor for businesses. The strengthening of Putin's authority could lead to a more stable political environment, which could be beneficial for businesses. However, the tumultuous situation within Putin's inner circle, as highlighted by Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov, could also lead to uncertainty and risk.
Impact on Foreign Policy
Prigozhin's expressed desire to make Africa "more free" and elevate Russia's influence on every continent could have implications for Russia's foreign policy. Changes in foreign policy could impact international businesses and trade relations.
In conclusion, the presumed death of Yevgeny Prigozhin and its potential impact on Putin's authority could have significant implications for new businesses. While it could lead to a more stable political environment, it also highlights the potential risks and uncertainties associated with political instability. New businesses must closely monitor these developments and be prepared to adapt their strategies accordingly.