How Prigogine justifies the failure of the Wagnerites to achieve their goals in Bakhmut: an ISW analysis
Prigozhin said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are preparing for a counteroffensive in 5 directions and called on the invaders to prepare for this. Probably, the financier of the Wagner PPK is trying to create prerequisites to explain the defeat of his mercenaries in Bakhmut.
This opinion was expressed by analysts at the Institute for the Study of War. They also suggested that Prigozhin “predicted” the Ukrainian counter-offensive to explain the relevance of his calls for the Russians to conserve ammunition and equipment.
Prigozhin announced a large counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Analysts suggest that Prigozhin may be trying to create circumstances that could explain the actions of the “Wagnerites” around Bakhmut. In particular, in his interview published in the Russian edition of RIA FAN on March 17, the financier of the Wagner PKK said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are preparing for a counteroffensive in five directions:
- in the Kremennaya area,
- towards Donetsk,
- in Zaporozhye region
- and even in the Russian Belgorod region.
Prigozhin said that Ukrainian forces would begin these operations sometime in mid-April and urged Russian troops to prepare for these counter-offensives, namely, “save ammunition and equipment.” He described the forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as strong enough to launch large-scale counter-offensive operations throughout the entire line of fire.
ISW experts believe that in this way Prigozhin is trying to justify the inability of the “Wagnerites” to achieve the desired success in Bakhmut. Note that at present, his mercenaries are conducting “adventurous attacks” on settlements that are easier to capture to the north and northwest of the city.
In the announcement of the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian defenders, the financier stated that at least 19 thousand people of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were stationed in Bakhmut. The Institute for the Study of War suggests that such statements are an attempt to justify the lack of progress of the “Wagnerites” in this direction.
Prigozhin’s portrayal of imminent Ukrainian counter-offensives also suggests that he believes that Russian forces will soon lose the initiative in front of Ukraine and be forced on the defensive, rather than continue stalled or failed offensives around Kreminna, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, or Vuhledar, the statement said. ISW.
Kadyrov and Prigozhin threaten Putin's power
- Yevgeny Prigozhin, owner of the Wagner PPK, and Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Chechnya, have rapidly gained popularity in Russia. During the full-scale invasion, they greatly expanded their power.
- Estonian intelligence officials note that this would not have happened without Putin's assistance. Experts from Estonia believe that an arch-radical faction of Russia's ruling elite is now trying to come to the fore in political life, using increasingly extremist methods.
- This may be a sign of panic, as they understand that the war against Ukraine was a fatal mistake that cannot be corrected. Therefore, now the only way to fight is to use more and more radical methods.
- Intelligence believes that Putin is allowing radicals to speak out to show that without him, Russia will become even more extremist. However, the growth of such attitudes among the ruling elite can get out of the control of the dictator, because he becomes more and more influential.