Expropriate assets of oligarch’s is the call from the country’s Russian mercenary king

Image of Yevgeny Prigozhin. Credit: Twitter @Flash_news_ua

Wagner’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin has called on the Russian government to expropriate the assets of the country’s oligarchs.

In a rare television interview on Monday, December 26, the usually media-shy mercenary king bemoaned the lack of support and involvement of the country’s rich in the war against Ukraine. Saying the government should expropriate their property to fund the war effort, the 61-year-old said: “The faster everything is taken from them, the better.”

He added: “They are afraid. You like the comfort. They all want to dive into a warm swimming pool in the evening and have fun.”

Prigozhin believes that if threatened with the loss of everything they have, then they too would be prepared to stand up and fight for Russia.

He continued saying: “At some point, you have to realise that you have to part with everything you have, so from the seductive world, the restaurants, spas, dachas, swimming pools.

“The sooner everything is taken from them, the better.”

Prigozhin himself is subject to western sanctions for supporting the war in Ukraine, but few have taken the direct involvement he has.

A close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prigozhin has used his army of conscripts, criminals and volunteers to fight in Africa and other parts of the world, and now in Ukraine.

Wanted by the west for meddling in American elections and for his role in civil wars in Africa, the man who is known as Putin’s cook has so far been able to evade capture.

Critical of military leaders in Russia, Prigozhin’s appearance on Saturday at the funeral of a “Wagner” fighter killed in the war in Ukraine is a huge success in a country not willing to pay homage to the dead.

Prigozhin, however, has used the man’s death to praise him as a “true patriot” sharply focusing the minds of Russians on the war and the loss of life. Some experts believe that the appearance was an attempt to raise his profile and support among Russian people, and in the process strengthen his hand in the Kremlin.

Many oligarchs, already battered by sanctions, have either remained quiet or have tried in vain to bring some finality to the war. The call to expropriate their assets will be of major concern for the country’s oligarchs, in what may be a very popular move locally.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and 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]