Wednesday 28 June 2023

Russia Axes Pledge To Drop Criminal Charges Against Prigozhin, Begins Targeting Mutiny ‘Sympathizers’

 Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be starting his plans to enact revenge on those who supported Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mutiny against the Russian military establishment last week, according to various statements from Russian-state media and actions taken by Russian officials.

Prigozhin, the former boss of the Wagner paramilitary group, appears to have escaped to Belarus after Belarusian President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko brokered a deal to stop Wagner’s advance on Moscow.

Lukashenko said in a recent statement that Putin has talked to him about the possibility of just killing Prigozhin, something that remains on the table and is highly likely to happen, according to military experts.

Russia initially said that the criminal charges against Prigozhin from the Federal Security Service (FSB), formerly the KGB, would be dropped as part of the deal that Lukashenko helped secure. However, now that the mutiny has ended, Russia’s Kremlin-run news organizations are reporting that the criminal charges against Prigozhin have not been dropped.

“Whatever agreement they made over the weekend, Putin has now dropped it,” Martin Kragh, the deputy director of the Stockholm Center for Eastern European Studies, told TIME Magazine.

Those who cause Putin problems end up being exiled, persecuted, or killed under either mysterious circumstances or in blatantly obvious ways — like poisoning targets with substances that are only available to a limited number of governments around the world.

The Wagner soldiers have to sign a contract at the start of July to work for the Russian government or they will be allowed to go back to living as civilians in Russian society “under the watchful eyes of the Kremlin,” the report added.

A source close to Prigozhin said that the FSB has “started shaking down sympathisers and those who violated their oath” during the mutiny, according to a report from the Financial Times.


The report said that the Russian government is now moving to remove “patriotic hardliners” from key positions of power within the government and is now focused on elevating Putin loyalists.

The Moscow Times reported that multiple sources confirmed to the publication that Russian General Sergei Surovikin was arrested because he “chose the side [of Prigozhin during the rebellion] and they grabbed him by the balls.”

The source, when asked where Surovikin was, said: “We don’t even comment on this information through internal channels.”

Another source appeared to say that Surovikin sided with Prigozhin “for power.”

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