Prigozhin let the success of Wagner to inflate his head to the point of open confrontation with “the successor”, “the wood-arts master Geppetto” Shoigu. His reasoning seems clear to me: Wagner was actually winning its tactical battles while the rest of Russian Army still continues to degrade under the leadership of the minister of defence Geppetto and the supreme commander Rasputin. Which means the public opinion should be squarely on Prigozhin’s side, especially after the Russian failures in the UA’s spring offensive.
Yet, the evil clown made two many enemies beside the MoD, it seems. His unjustifiably inflated ego made him snap at other people, who might have been otherwise aligned with him against Shoigu. His evil deeds with sledgehammer and pictures of his fallen (in idiotic frontal assaults) soldiers could only bring him the support of the worst kind of people, while pushing away the general public.
He left with no choice after starting an open fight with “the successor”, Shoigu/Geppetto. He is paid by the government, supplied with arms and equipment by the government, and infused by the “cannon meat” (as they are obviously viewed by the regime) by the government. By himself he is an ex-convict and a servant, nothing more to him that meets the eye. Yet when he saw the opportunity to thrust himself upwards into a position of real political power, he took it, activating the self-defense mechanism of Shoigu’s clique.
While the reaction for his action were totally predictable, he made a bet on Divide-and-Conquer-Rasputin and the public opinion to channel the frustrations of this war against Shoigu and thus through him as a successful commander. He tried to make allies, but of the worst kind — the Chechen “freedom-fighter” (a western name for “good” terrorists, mainly of radical Islamic ideology) warlord (who is also conflicted with Shoigu) is a great example of friends who negate the need for enemies. But after being cut-off from his lifeline: the regime-supplied “cannon meat”, ammo etc., he raised the stakes.
Now his only hope is to see the success of UA’s spring offensive while removing himself from the blame. He tried to flee the frontline before the spring offensive begins, but he didn’t make it in time. He was tasked with taking Bakhmut/Artemovsk, but failed to do so before the Victory Day. He asked to replace the exhausted Wagner Group from the city, but was denied his request. Now the exhausted remains of his Wagner Group are being slowly eaten away. Then Wagner will cease to exist, so will the evil clown Prigozhin.
It reminds me of a much better man and infinitely more talented military leader, Pompey. Yet even Pompey let his ego inflate his head when bragging he could raise legions by merely stamping his foot. Each general should have engrave in his memory that wars are won by soldiers and lost by generals (and politicians). It is especially true for military of civilian leaders who merely stumbled into success by a happenstance or unfathomable divine intervention.
I say good riddance. I can only hope the other prominent figures will follow him closely behind — Shoigu with his MoD and MIC buddies and eventually Rasputin himself with all his entourage (aka President’s Administration). The sooner it will happen, the less soldiers and civilians would have to die or suffer in vain under the corrupt and impotent leadership.
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