The Wall Street JournalThe Wall Street Journal

Prigozhin is gone, but the causes of Russia’s growing instability persist

By Thomas Grove, Yaroslav Trofimov

24 Aug 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. The deaths of Yevgeny Prigozhin and other leaders of the Wagner paramilitary group, which challenged the Kremlin in June, reflect growing instability in Russian politics. This is due to the ongoing conflict initiated by Vladimir Putin, which has resulted in military setbacks and growing discontent among troops.

The mysterious deaths of Yevgeny Prigozhin and other leaders of Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group—which mounted a short-lived challenge to the Kremlin in June—reflect deepening fractures in Moscow’s ruling elite as the country’s bloodiest war in generations drags on.

The conflict, unleashed by President Vladimir Putin 18 months ago in expectation of a quick and decisive victory, has instead been marked by a series of Russian military setbacks including an inability to stop embarrassing Ukrainian strikes on the Russian capital and other cities.

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