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ISW: Putin-Lukashenko-Prigozhin powerplay 'not yet over'

by Haley Zehrung June 28, 2023 7:32 AM 1 min read
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Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is likely unable to get rid of Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin without making him a martyr, the Institute for the Study of War said in its June 27 assessment.

The ISW highlighted the ongoing difficulties between Putin and Prigozhin, saying that while the direct threat is over, regime security issues in Russia are still at the forefront of Russian officials' minds.

In addition, ongoing negotiations between the three actors could benefit Ukraine in the long-term. "The announced transfer of Wagner’s equipment to Ministry of Defense elements also suggests that Wagner forces are unlikely to imminently deploy to reinforce frontlines in Ukraine before undergoing reorganization," the ISW said.

The ISW also mentioned that Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko is using his position as a mediator to gain influence in Russia and hold leverage over Putin.

"Lukashenko may seek to use the Wagner Group in Belarus to reduce the Belarusian military’s accumulated structural dependency on the Russian military for higher operational functions," the ISW wrote.

Petro Burkovskyi: Decoding Prigozhin’s rebellion
The Wagner Group’s armed rebellion has displayed little evidence of being a successful challenge to Putin’s regime, but it has created a strong argument in support of Ukraine’s accelerated accession to NATO. The military drama that unfolded in Russia from June 23 to 24, orchestrated by Wagner
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