Early Hours

Attribution to Government of the Russian Federation

This is Yevgeny Prigozhin. He is a Russian oligarch. Up until recently, he was a great buddy with Putin. He was called ‘Putin’s Chef’ given that his restaurants and catering companies provided services to the Kremlin. He is a mercenary. He was a former convict. He owns a number of influential companies including the Russian backed terrorist Wagner Group. The Wagner Group has been the centre of instability flareups around the world. His companies have been accused of interfering in US elections, including the 2016 and 2018 elections. He faces criminal charges in the US and the UK and the FBI has a $250,000 reward for his arrest. He is not a nice guy.

The Russian war effort in Ukraine has been floundering. Putin brought in Prigozhin’s Wagner Group to strengthen the Russian effort in Ukraine. Many Russian successes achieved in Ukraine were as a result of the Wagner Group. The soldiers within the Wagner Group are experienced professionals. They have been bolstered by Russian convicts who have been used as fodder. Prigozhin and Putin have been having a bitter war of words over the past few months. Prigozhin claims that Russia has been providing insufficient military support to bolster the Wagner Group efforts. Prigozhin has been controversial in Russian media calling the Russian military inept and questioning the moves of top Russian military officials. Things came to a head this week when Prigozhin accused the Russian military of attacking the Wagner Group and slaughtering 2,000 of its soldiers.

Prigozhin and his group are now on the march to Moscow Putin has called this treason and is calling it a coup. In sports terms, Prigozhin would be considered a player’s coach. His men love him. He has already seized some military centres with Russia on his march to Moscow. This is all happening right now. No one knows what will happen. Putin might be overthrown. But not for one minute should Prigozhin be considered the lesser of two evils. He is a bad man. The ramifications of this with regard to Russia, Ukraine, Russian allies and Western allies is just unknown right now. Will the Russian military continue to back Putin or will it throw its support behind Prigozhin? Will Ukraine be able to seize huge chunks of previously controlled Russian territory? Will there be a Russian civil war? Will Putin loving Fox Entertainment and Tucker Carlson tear their hair out? Fox has been very quiet this morning. Sadly, in the twitterverse, conspiracy theories are already coming out that President Biden is behind this so that US media will not focus on Hunter Biden. Seriously

Right now, no one knows how this will turn out.

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