The Economist: These are the reasons for the Wagner leader’s conflict with Putin’s generals | Politics News

The Economist: These are the reasons for the Wagner leader’s conflict with Putin’s generals | Politics News
The Economist: These are the reasons for the Wagner leader’s conflict with Putin’s generals | Politics News

12/5/2023|Last updated: 12/5/202308:03 PM (Mecca Time)

A report published by the British magazine “The Economist” stated that the recent criticism directed by the leader of the “Wagner” group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, towards the Russian military leaders is part of the long series of differences that erupted between the two parties during the Russian war on Ukraine.

These differences have reached an advanced degree, with Prigozhin warning that he will withdraw his forces from Ukraine in the event that the Russian Ministry of Defense does not respond to him and provide him with the military equipment he requests.

The report emphasized that the dispute reflects the Kremlin’s failure to establish a clear leadership structure in Ukraine, as President Vladimir Putin did not appoint a general commander for the war until April 2022, that is, about two months after the outbreak of the conflict. He initially appointed General Alexander Dvornikov, then Gennady Zedko in May 2022, after him General Sergey Surovikin in October, then General Gerasimov in January 2023.


According to the magazine, the “whirlpool” of changing military leaderships, which generated internal conflicts and divisions, made it difficult to ensure an effective Russian military strategy in Ukraine, especially in light of the presence of Russian “mercenary groups” in the field, led by Wagner.

The report added that the success of the military operations in Kharkiv and Kherson, in the late summer and fall of 2022, prompted a part within the Russian Defense Ministry to criticize General Gerasimov and those with him, and this was in the interest of Prigozhin.

He explained that it was believed that the leader of Wagner had promised the Kremlin that he would achieve the first victory for Russia after the setbacks of Kharkiv and Kherson and the advent of General Surovikin, who promotes that Prigozhin has a good relationship with him. But despite the continuation of Wagner’s attacks, it was unable to achieve that promised victory, and Prigozhin’s position became “fragile” in front of everyone.


The situation worsened for Wagner’s commander after the arrival of General Gerasimov, and soon Prigozhin began accusing Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Gerasimov of withholding military supplies from him.

The report suggested – quoting Western military analysts – that the military leadership in Russia may be trying to economize on the use of ammunition, in preparation for confronting the Ukrainian counterattack that everyone is talking about.

The report indicated that it is clear that the Wagner Group is still important to Moscow, and it quoted Ukrainian officers as saying that this group is among the most effective units in the Russian forces, for various reasons, including their willingness to fully sacrifice their members.

He explained that analysts suspect that President Putin is now keen to divide responsibility between the factions fighting in Ukraine, highlighting that the generals supporting Wagner can regain their influence within the army, but – on the other hand – there are other leaders who seek to extend their control over Wagner, and this is what can Explains Prigogine’s “desperate statements.”