Putin channels his criticism of Russian Army through Prigozhin and Kadyrov, expert says
According to Ivan Preobrazhenskyi, Ramzan Kadyrov and Yevhen Prigozhin have not yet started to play an independent game (Photo:Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via REUTERS, REUTERS/Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool, NV collage)
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Wagner PMC owner Yevgeny Prigozhin – both staunchly loyal to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin – criticize the Russian military, reflecting the Kremlin’s own dissatisfaction, Russian political scientist Ivan Preobrazhenskyi said in an interview with NV Radio on Nov. 19.
“They mainly verbalize Putin's will – for example, their recent criticism of the Russian troops is a reflection of Putin's dissatisfaction with them,” said Preobrazhenskyi.
“Upon the appointment of Gen. Surovikin, who had gained Putin's trust, this wave of criticism has completely subsided. By the way, Kadyrov was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general, the same rank the commander of the Army Group ‘Center’ Alexander Lapin had when he was ousted by Kadyrov. Everything Kadyrov and Prigozhin do, is done with Putin's approval or on his orders.”
He also believes that while Kadyrov and Prigozhin are able to act independently, they still are choosing not to do so. A conservative movement started by Prigozhin in Russia that might turn into a full-fledged political party is only an attempt to garner broader social support for Putin.
“He (Prigozhin) sees the needs and the concerns of Putin,” Preobrazhenskyi added.
“He realized that Putin's United Russia party has no future. At his time, Viacheslav Volodin started the All-Russia People's Front movement for Putin. As a result, he became an important figure for the Russian dictator. Obviously, Prigozhin is trying to achieve the same feat."
On Oct. 29, Gen. Lapin, who was criticized by Kadyrov and Prigozhin, was relieved from his post as commander of Russia’s Army Group "Center".
On Nov. 15, Russian media outlet Meduza reported that Prigozhin plans to start “a conservative movement” that might turn into a full-fledged political party in the future.
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