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Yevgeny Prigozhin Breaks Ranks with Putin

May 16, 2023Ben Bearden

Wagner Group Leader Yevgeny Prigozhin Breaks Ranks with Putin


  • Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group of mercenaries, appears to have turned on Russian President Vladimir Putin following a strained relationship since the beginning of the Ukraine invasion. 
  • Prigozhin blamed Russian military leadership for the heavy losses suffered by the Wagner Group due to a shortage of ammunition supplies. 
  • Prigozhin has also offered to disclose Russian troop positions to Ukraine in exchange for withdrawing Ukrainian troops from Bakhmut. 

Rolling Updates

These Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs auto-update every few hours with fresh analysis on the Yevgeny Prigozhin narrative: 

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  • Prigozhin's disagreement with Moscow and his threats to withdraw Wagner Group forces from the Bakhmut offensive could shift the power dynamics of the Ukraine conflict.
  • Prigozhin’s offer to reveal Russian troop positions could give Ukraine a strategic advantage if proven credible. 
  • These events highlight the internal discord within Russia's military leadership and the potential influence of private military companies in state-led conflicts.

Competing Narratives

  • Yevgeny Prigozhin's critique of the Russian military and threatened withdrawal from Bakhmut.
  • Prigozhin's willingness to negotiate with Ukraine. 
  • The strained relationship between Prigozhin and Putin.
  • Wagner Group's expansion in Africa and involvement in Ukraine.

Relevant Narrative Keywords:

  • Yevgeny Prigozhin
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Defense Ministry
  • Sergei Shoigu
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