Prigozhin claims purpose of Russia's war on Ukraine was gain promotion for Shoigu, not deter NATO

23 June, 06:20 PM
Prigozhin (Photo:REUTERS/Yulia Morozova)

Prigozhin (Photo:REUTERS/Yulia Morozova)

In his latest tirade against the leadership of Russia’s Defense Ministry, Wagner mercenary company leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has claimed Russia's war against Ukraine was initiated with the intention of promoting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to the rank of marshal. 

Prigozhin made his claim in a video message posted on June 23.

In the video, Prigozhin states that the war served as an opportunity for a group of individuals to celebrate and showcase the strength of the Russian army. He suggested that the preparations for promoting Shoigu to the rank of marshal were already in place, and he received a second Hero of the Russian Federation state award as a result.

Video of day

Prigozhin further claimed that Shoigu desired to be remembered as a "great Turkic military leader who became a hero and a marshal twice practically in peacetime."

According to Prigozhin, the war was orchestrated to fulfill Shoigu's aspirations, rather than to “de-militarize” or “de-nazify” Ukraine.

Additionally, Prigozhin asserted that the oligarchs, who currently hold de facto power in Russia, also had a vested interest in the war, and implied they were involved in the decision-making process.

Prigozhin also cast doubt on Kremlin claims of Ukraine's aggression, stating that until Feb. 24, 2022, there was no “insane aggression” on Ukraine's part, and Ukraine had no intention of jointly attacking Russia with NATO.

He added that cities in the Donbas had not been attacked by Ukraine over the first eight years of the war, and that the Ukrainian army had only exchanged fire with Russian proxy forces.

He also said the Donbas had been “plundered” by people from the Russian presidential administration, Russia’s FSB security service, and Russian oligarchs.

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