Russian television accuses Yevgeny Prigojine of having “lost the ball” because of the money
Russian state television on Sunday accused Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin of trying to start a rebellion against the army command after receiving billions in public money, illustrating the new power narrative about the paramilitary group, since its aborted mutiny.
“Prigozhin lost his mind over large sums of money”, said Dmitry Kisselyov, one of the main voices of the Kremlin media apparatus, during his weekly program. “ The feeling of believing that everything was allowed had appeared a long time ago, from the operations [de Wagner] in Syria and Africa »he continued.
According to him, this feeling has “reinforced” after the capture of the cities of Soledar and Bakhmout in Ukraine by Mr. Prigojine’s mercenaries in recent months. “ He believed that he could oppose both the Russian Ministry of Defense, the state and the president himself.launched Dmitry Kisseliov.
To illustrate this supposed delusion of grandeur of Mr. Prigozhin, the presenter assured, without providing evidence, that the military company Wagner had received 58 billion rubles (0.6 billion euros) of public money. According to Mr Kiselyov, “one of the big factors” of the Wagner Group mutiny is the refusal of the Russian Ministry of Defense to extend the juicy contracts signed with Evgueni Prigojine’s Concord catering group.
Wagner’s rebellion, carried out at the end of last week, shook Russian power, in the midst of the conflict in Ukraine. For several hours, fighters from the paramilitary group occupied a Russian army headquarters in Rostov (southwest Russia) and rushed several hundred kilometers towards Mocou. The mutiny ended on Saturday evening with an agreement providing for the departure to Belarus of Mr. Prigojine.
No sanctions have been announced against the mutineers, but the future of Mr. Prigojine’s businesses seems uncertain. News sites close to his group were blocked this week in Russia.
On Saturday, the Group’s headquarters in Saint Petersburg, the Wagner Center, announced on Telegram that it was moving, while ensuring that it would continue to operate under a “new form”.
Yevgueni Prigojine assured that his uprising was not intended to overthrow power, but to save Wagner from being dismantled by the Russian general staff, which he shamelessly accuses of incompetence in the conflict in Ukraine.
Since last Monday, Mr. Prigozhin has not made a public statement.
On Sunday, Dmitry Kisselyov challenged the idea that Wagner’s fighters were the most effective of the Russian forces, saying they had to “225 days” to take Bakhmout, against “70 days” to the regular army for Mariupol.