Wagner Group; Reasons Behind Its Clashes With Russian Army, Fate Of Skirmishes
The Russian private military company, which is known as Wagner Group is a paramilitary organization that is directly affiliated with the Russian Armed Forces. The Wanger mercenaries have taken part in various conflicts, including the clashes in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014, the Syrian war, the Libyan civil war, Mali, Sudan and so on, and now they are engaged in military training, consulting activities and even arms sales in different countries.
The head of the organization is Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is one of the important tycoon and traders of Russia, and he is also referred to by the some media outlets as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cook.
Following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Prigozhin entered a tough competition with the senior military leaders of Russia, namely Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov to consolidate his power and influence in the Russian government.
However, Shoigu and Gerasimov gradually weakened his alliance with Commander of the Russian air force Sergei Surovikin, and they managed to reduce Prigozhin’s military position in the eyes of the Russian president and take back the command of Russian forces in Ukraine from Surovikin.
The decline in power did not please Prigozhin; so, he sabotaged many times the defense ministry’s support for his forces in the war in Ukraine and finally rebelled against the Russian government by claiming a missile attack by the Russian army on the bases and positions of Wagner Group forces. Prigozhin called for the handover of Shoigu and Gerasimov to Wagner forces and pursued their punishment, but President Putin ordered to clamp down the rebellion while ignoring his demands.
The future of the group’s rebellion depends on a plan that its designers have prepared.
The rapid control of the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don by the Wagner Group, their unimpeded advance towards capital city Moscow, and the lack of concern by the Russian army and government officials, as well as the Western countries’ heed to the issue do not seem normal. In fact, the nature of the rebellion and the goals of the Wagner Group have not become clear yet.
Therefore, the Wagner Group’s rebellion is not that much similar to a coup or an armed rebellion, and it is possible to raise the possibility that Russians are paving the ground for a more important action. Perhaps the rebellion was also shaped by the Western powers, because Russia’s intelligence fault against Westerners is a proven issue. In total, the Wagner Group’s next actions and the reaction of the Russian government and armed forces to such actions will clarify the nature of the story and it would be better to wait for more information and analysis.