“We’ll see if anything comes out of Prigozhin’s archives now”

On Thursday, one day after the crash of the jet in which Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagner founder Dmitry Utkin and Wagner logistics and security chief Valery Chkalov are said to have been, Putin gave a speech.

He praises Prigozhin as a loyal subordinate. Despite his rebellion and march on Moscow. Putin indirectly confirms the death of the mercenary boss: “He was a person with a complicated fate and he made serious mistakes,” said the Kremlin boss.

Many observers assume that Prigozhin is dead. For Putin, however, this does not mean that all of Putin’s problems will disappear. It seems as if the Wagner boss had made provisions in case he was murdered. Will the posthumous revenge come?

The signs are growing. A source indicates that Prigozhin has kept confidential information about the regime that may now be leaked to the public. An insider wrote on the Telegram channel “VChK-OGPU”: “Prigozhin was sure that Putin would forgive him everything, he was not afraid of anything”.

Prigozhin knows a lot …

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assumes that Prigozhin probably underestimated how much Putin was personally humiliated by the Wagner rebellion.

Apparently, Prigozhin overestimated the value of his own loyalty to Putin. The Russian President attaches great importance to integrity. He is said to have often rewarded loyal Russian officials and military commanders even when they had failed.

However, Prigozhin does not appear to have been entirely naive. The source in the Telegram chat writes: “He (Prigozhin) said he knew a lot… We’ll see if anything comes from him. We’ll see if anything comes up from his archives now.”

The source further writes: “As for the people with whom Prigozhin died. They always flew in threes – Prigozhin, Utkin, Chkalov. Chkalov was responsible for the whole rear guard, Utkin for the combat part of PMC Wagner.” The message ends.

Anyone who publishes the material makes themselves a target

But how likely is it that the incriminating material, if it really exists, will become public? Military expert Chris Owen wrote on Twitter: “I’m sure Prigozhin had a lot of information, but I doubt it will emerge on its own.” Anyone who publishes it makes themselves a target. “That could have a deterrent effect.”

As early as June, after the Wagner boss and his troops had occupied the Russian city of Rostov and moved within 200 kilometers of Moscow, there was speculation about explosive material.

At the time, the Russian human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin said in a conversation with the Ukrainian-American journalist Igor Sushko that he believed that Putin only let Prigozhin go to Belarus with impunity because the Wagner boss possessed compromising material about the Russian head of state.

Jean Harris

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