March 22, 2023

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War in Ukraine: Putin Criticized by Wagner Group Leader for Kremlin’s Military Mistakes

The more the war in Ukraine progresses, the more Evguéni Prigojine’s influence spreads in the Kremlin and on the ground. Wagner, the head of the mercenary group, has been an outspoken critic of the Kremlin’s military choices ahead of Vladimir Putin, who has become increasingly prominent in the conflict.

Could Evgeny Prigozhin become a threat to Vladimir Putin? According to various sources, the founder of the Wagner Group is gaining more and more influence within the Kremlin. The The Washington Post confirms that man, who once ran one of the Russian president’s favorite restaurants, reportedly privately told Vladimir Putin what he thought of his military’s handling of the war in Ukraine. According to US intelligence, it was not to praise Russian public servants. This information can be connected with the fact that Yevgeny Prigozhin officially announced himself as the head of the Wagner group a few weeks ago. A way for him to assert his influence?

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But Yevgeny Prigojine’s comments echo what he has been saying publicly for weeks. But revealing the speech to Vladimir Putin in a private setting shows how Wagner’s influence within the Kremlin is growing. The exchange was included in a daily briefing given to President Biden by US intelligence. This explains the growing tension between the Wagner leader and Russian Defense Ministry Sergei Shoigu. The private team is gaining ground in Ukraine.

Prigozhin denies personal contact with Putin

According to this US intelligence report, Yevgeny Prigozhin ensured that the Russian Ministry of Defense relied too much on his team without giving them the means and resources they needed to do their jobs. The concerned president denied any recent personal contact with the Russian president The Washington Post. “I have not personally communicated with Vladimir Putin recently or in the future. I have not criticized the administration of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation during the conflict in Ukraine,” he said via his news service. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on any connection between the two.

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