The decade's most triggering comedy
A top Ukrainian intelligence official said in an interview this week that they have received intelligence showing that Russia is planning to assassinate Yevgeny Prigozhin after his Wagner paramilitary forces led a rebellion late last month against the Russian military establishment.
Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Directorate, told The War Zone in an interview that Ukraine had known for some time that Prigozhin was planning to lead a rebellion against elements of the Russian government — something that U.S. officials have also said.
When asked if he thought that Prigozhin would ultimately be assassinated, Budanov responded, “We are aware that the FSB was charged with a task to assassinate him.”
“Will they be successful in doing that? We’ll see with time. So in any case, all of such potential assassination attempts will not be fast,” he continued. “It will take them some time to have the proper approaches and to reach the stage when they’re ready to add a huge operation. But once again, I’d like to underline that it’s a big open question. Would they be successful in fulfilling that? Will they dare to to execute that order?”
Belarusian President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko brokered a deal to stop Wagner’s advance on Moscow last weekend that included having the charges dropped against Prigozhin and his men in exchange for allowing Prigozhin to escape to Belarus and all criminal charges being dropped. Lukashenko said this week that Putin had talked to him about the possibility of just killing Prigozhin, something that remains on the table and is highly likely to happen, according to other military experts.
No one has seen or heard from Prigozhin since last weekend, according to The New York Times. While Russia did initially say that they were going to drop charges against him, there have been conflicting reports over whether that will actually happen now that the mutiny has ended.
Wagner troops are now being forced to sign a contract with the Russian government or go back to being private citizens in Russian society under a new order from Russian President Vladimir Putin that took effect on Saturday.