Headline RoundupAugust 26th, 2023

The Prigozhin-less Future of the Wagner Group and Russia

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The reported death of Wagner mercenary group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin earlier this week sparked widespread media dialogue on what it means for the state of Wagner and Russia going forward.

A Strong Kremlin: Tatiana Stanovaya, writing for New York Times (Lean Left bias) argued “Putin had every reason to want Prigozhin gone.” She said Western audiences underestimate Putin’s “fundamental conviction” in prioritizing the strength of the state over his own personal desires, and that Prigozhin’s June coup attempt marked the beginning of his own downfall. Stanoyava said regardless of what was behind Prigozhin’s death, it demonstrates that no one is above attempting to make the Kremlin look weak.

Prigozhin’s Legacy: Candace Rondeaux, writing for Financial Times (Center bias) said whatever may come of the future of the Wagner Group, Prigozhin’s legacy will remain. She says Putin’s forces are “in disarray” and that “irregular paramilitaries” will continue to prop up his administration, which is “crippled by sanctions and corroded by corruption.”

Putin’s Fate Sealed: Hamish De Bretton-Gordon, writing for The Telegraph UK (Lean Right bias) said the “entire world is sure” Putin ordered Prigozhin’s death, and that the killing, in juncture with his dismissal of General Sergei Surovikin, suggests the end is near for Putin. Bretton-Gordon argues it is possible Wagner mercenaries may try to turn against the Kremlin, and that without battle-experienced commanders like Prigozhin and Surovikin, he is left with a weaker military to attack Ukraine or defend Moscow.

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