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ISW: Chechen leader Kadyrov likely rejected Wagner’s proposal to work against Russian Defense Ministry
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has likely rejected Russia’s Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin’s proposal to cooperate in a “renewed informational attack” against the Russian Defense Ministry, a D.C.-based think-tank analyzing the war said in its latest report.
Despite Prigozhin’s attempts, the Chechen leader likely still sees that “his formal ties to the Kremlin and position in the Russian Defense Ministry are more beneficial than any political relationship with Prigozhin could be,” according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
The ISW report comes amid Prigozhin’s intensifying rivalry with the Russian Defense Ministry over the past month.
Prigozhin is “intensifying his informational campaign,” trying to establish his mercenary group as an elite independent force in his quest for authority in Russia, according to the ISW. He claimed on Feb. 18 that Wagner had nothing to do with the Russian army and was not subordinate to the Russian Defense Ministry.
The ISW said that Kadyrov and Prigozhin’s attitudes toward the Russian Defense Ministry are “divergent,” with the Chechen leader strengthening his relationship with the Kremlin instead.
While Prigozhin is “likely trying to enlist ultranationalist figures within the Kremlin and select Russian military bloggers to support his quest for authority in Russia,” those with ties to the Kremlin would likely continue to turn down his proposal to “retain their patronage,” according to the report.
This suggests that the Wagner founder’s renewed informational campaign “may fail to restore Prigozhin’s waning influence,” the ISW added.