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Evgueni Prigojine is increasingly asserting himself on the Russian political spectrum, using his popularity to criticize his opponents in Russia’s highest circles.
On Monday, Wagner’s financier denounced Russian oligarchs and elites living “comfortable lives”, reportedly preventing public mobilization as the war continues. Head Ladsday News. “Unless the children of the elite go to war, total mobilization of the country will not take place,” emphasized Yevgeny Prigozhin.
At the same time, the founder of the Wagner Group announced the creation of a “BMC Wagner Center”, which will open on November 4 in St. Petersburg. The center aims to create a “favorable environment for the development of new ideas aimed at increasing Russia’s defense capabilities,” he said.
Although private military companies like Wagner’s are illegal in Russia, Prigozhin challenged local authorities to follow his center and hinted that he would build more centers if the one in St. Petersburg is successful.
Fame and corruption
Wagner’s financier, Alexander Beglov, the governor of St. Petersburg, has also been accused of corruption and has asked Russia’s attorney general to open an investigation. He claims that Beklov plans to loot the state budget and enrich corrupt officials.
The accusation may have been a way to boost his own popularity. A popularity that is already “overwhelming,” according to the magazine Petersburg Vestnik. Nevertheless, Evgeny Prigojine has not yet adopted political ambition. “I’m not looking for popularity. My job is to fulfill my duty to the motherland, and I have no intention of establishing a party today rather than joining politics,” says Wagner’s boss.
However, Prigozhin clearly wants to strengthen his influence over the evolution of the war in Ukraine with the Institute of the Study of War, an American think tank.
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