Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Kremlin-linked businessman who deployed his private army to help Vladimir Putin terrorize Ukraine, says “men in uniform” with ties to the Russian military may want to get him because his mercenaries are the regular Outnumber Russian troops on the battlefield. .
Responding to a question from local media Friday about social media posts appearing to discredit him, Prigozhin suggested through his press office that oligarchs may be taking revenge on him for his criticism of their “negative influence on Russia’s future.” “
Or, he said, ‘People in uniform could discredit me. Especially those close to the military. Because many of them cannot achieve the same effectiveness as Wagner.”
He also put forward the idea that Ukrainian intelligence or the CIA could trick him into “slowing down” Wagner on the front lines. But in the end, he admitted that since all negative allegations about him were “ordered” for posting on Russian Telegram channels, “most likely neither the CIA nor the SBU have anything to do with it.”
“So I want to apologize to them for the unfounded criticism and suspicion,” he said.
While Prigozhin has seen his public profile boom after he began recruiting thousands of Russian prisoners to support Putin’s fledgling war machine in Ukraine, rumors have been circulating on Russian social media channels that appear aimed at pushing him up a notch. — including demeaning sexual allegations of a prison sentence in the 1980s.
Independent Russian media has reported that Prigozhin has managed to make quite a few enemies among those in Putin’s inner circle by making himself the public face of the war against Ukraine and bashing top military officials.
The Telegram channel General SVR, an anonymous channel that claims to be run by a former member of the security services, reported on Friday that the deepest members of Putin’s circle are disgusted by Prigozhin’s tone in his interactions with the Russian leader.
When the Wagner boss wished Putin a happy New Year over the holidays, the conversation was over speakerphone, allowing “several people” to eavesdrop as Prigozhin spoke to the president in an all-too-familiar manner, the channel reported.
“Putin did not shut down Prigozhin, but embarrassed just thanked him in response and ended the conversation.”
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