by Susan Katz Keating
Russian snipers who want to take out Yevgeny Prigozhin can look through their scopes to find instructions on a wall inside their target’s office, the Wagner Group leader said. Assassins can read the instructions from their sniper nests across the river in St. Petersburg, Prigozhin said. He discussed the instructions and other matters last week while appearing on a pro-war Russian podcast.
“Russia is on the brink of catastrophe,” Prigozhin said in his April 29 appearance on the War Gonzo program. In the nearly 90-minute video interview, Prigozhin poked the bear repeatedly, blasting the progress of Russia’s war against Ukraine, and mocking the Kremlin’s claim that the so-called “special military operation” is going according to plan.
READ MORE from Soldier of Fortune about the Wagner Group.
Prigozhin’s outburst follows a string of previous charges against Russia’s military brass and his arch nemesis, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The diatribes have brought speculation over Prigozhin’s future – to include whether he would be assassinated.
Prigozhin addressed the speculation directly, saying he has offered to help any assassins by posting a checklist of tips on his office wall.
Prigozhin’s checklist presumes that assassins will shoot from across the Neva River that runs through St. Petersburg. He tells the shooters how to configure their scopes, and advises them to adjust their aim and account for a dip in the path a bullet would take when fired from afar.
During the interview, Prigozhin called for the Kremlin to level with Russian people about the war.
“We need to stop deceiving the population and telling them that everything is fine,” he said, accusing the top military brass of deluding themselves or “not giving a damn.”
Other takeaways are as follows.
- The Russian army has transformed from the second-best army in the world into one of the worst. The army is so inept that it cannot hold its own against the far fewer forces of Ukraine.
- The Russian Army likes to get drunk, and buys cognac from local entrepreneurs inside Ukraine.
- The Russian army descends from an equally meager force. The Soviet army was nothing more than a social club, ineffective and neutered, unable even to confer social status on members.
- Russia didn’t win the Chechen wars that bolstered Vladimir Putin’s rise to power. The conflict was settled via bribe, when Putin paid off Ramzan Kadyrov’s father.
- The Russian Army officially has soldiers on Wagner’s flanks. In reality, the soldiers are not there.
- Once the rains end and the ground dries, Ukraine will launch its counteroffensive. The attack might come as soon as May 9.
- Wagner forces are powerful, and are led by an excellent commander (Prigozhin) who far outshines the inferior Russian defense leaders. Nevertheless, Wagner will not march against Moscow.
- There is nothing to celebrate in Russia on May 9th, Victory Day. People should respect the fallen, but there is no reason to conduct pompous ceremonies. Russia has not earned the right to host theatrical displays.
- The Ukrainian army will attack, and this could end in tragedy for Russia.
- Prigozhin took pot shots against the KGB, without explaining whether he actually means the modern GRU. The KGB stands for Club of Senile Grandpas (the wordplay works in Russian), or the Club of Emotional Midgets. The KGB hates Russia. All their mistresses have good lives in the West, so the KGB cares nothing about the war.
Prigozhin claimed on May 1 that Wagner has large stocks of weapons abandoned by Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut and Soledar.
“Ten of thousands of weapons donated to the orchestra,” one user wrote on Twitter.
The Wagner Group has enough arms to support one million fighters, Prigozhin said.
He is willing to trade for what he wants in Bakhmut: artillery shells.