Putin facing possible Kremlin power struggle as Wagner chief calls for Russian Defence Minister Shoigu to be axed

Image of Russian President Vladimir Putin  Credit: Harold Escalona/ Shutterstock.com

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin called for the removal of Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Minister of Defence, and was backed up by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin is suddenly faced with a huge problem this Thursday, October 27, in the formidable shape of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the notorious Wagner Group. The mercenary chief has openly criticised Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Minister of Defence.

Prigozhin blamed Shoigu for the continued failures in Ukraine and was quickly backed up by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov who threw his support fully behind the shadowy Wagner boss. A Kremlin hierarchy that previously looked untouchable could soon see its resolve tested by these two powerhouses.

Christo Grozev, the Lead Russia Investigator for the Dutch investigative journalism group Bellingcat, speaking with CCN, said: “What is interesting from my point of view is the ambition that Prigozhin has obtained in that he believes he is much better than the regular army”.

“His people are better equipped than the regular army, he knows how to manage and motivate them, and incentivise them better. This has been a kind of growing competition between him and the regular army, and Shoigu the defence minister”, he continued.

“It has escalated to a point that we have not seen before where Prigozhin in a fake response to a fake question from one of his own media, said that in fact some people should get the boot and he clearly talking about Shoigu in this statement”, added Grozev.

In his nightly address to the nation last Wednesday, October 26, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that attacks by Russian forces on two key locations in the eastern Donbas region have been repeatedly repelled successfully, as reported by express.co.uk.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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