The Washington Post newspaper published a resonant news about a possible collusion between the alleged head of Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin and Ukrainian intelligence. According to the authors, the businessman offered data on the deployment of troops of the Russian Defense Ministry in exchange for the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Bakhmut. Russian politicians and political scientists agreed that this is an obvious fake, but did not decide on its source. LDPR deputy Vasily Vlasov did not rule out a “Russian trace”. However, in his opinion, Prigozhin’s domestic rivals would distribute fake news through anonymous Telegram channels, and not Western newspapers.
State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party and resident of the PMC Wagner Center Vasily Vlasov expressed to the Daily Storm the opinion that this was a fake stuffing in order to cause discord in the Russian troops.
“99 percent that this is stuffing. <...> Imagine people who serve under contract in the Ministry of Defense. They are told that Yevgeny Viktorovich agreed that they (the Ukrainian army) would leave their positions in Bakhmut so that the offensive on the flanks would become tougher. Thus, ordinary guys serving under a contract can be turned against PMCs Wagner and Prigozhin and sow confusion, ”Vlasov believes.
The politician also explained by what principle he recognized the news about the conspiracy between Prigozhin and the GUR as a fraud.
“When they come up with something and they want to hide a lie, they come up with a lot of interesting storytelling. Discord, closed chat, someone worked somewhere, some taxi driver in Sochi told me when he gave me a ride. When everything is covered with such clarifications, most often it turns out to be a lie. I think that this is absolutely the same case, ”Vlasov explained.
The resident of PMC Wagner Center did not rule out that the enemies of Yevgeny Prigozhin inside Russia could have had a hand in creating this news. But still, Vasily Vlasov is inclined to the version of the “Western” origin of the fake.
“Maybe so and so, we will never know the truth. But judging by the fact that the Western media disperse, then, most likely, from the West. Usually, if our “comrades”, who spoil everything in Russia, would like to do something, I think they would start promoting everything through Telegram channels. And if it was the Western media who were the first to say it, then it was to be referred to, to be mentioned, and so on, ”added the LDPR deputy.
President of the Center for Strategic Communications Dmitry Abzalov, in an interview with the Daily Storm, pointed out the meaninglessness of the terms of the proposed negotiations described in the Western media. This applies both to the proposal to the Ukrainian side to weaken the defense of Bakhmut, and to the suicidal idea to weaken their own flanks.
“It doesn’t work like that – if you don’t break through in one direction, but break through in another,” Abzalov commented on the “proposal” of Prigozhin’s side. – It is important for Ukraine not to let Bakhmut go to the end. This is extremely unprofitable, otherwise the information field is changing. Therefore, no one will give Bakhmut away, they will keep him until the end and try to block him. Leaving him is a big risk. No one would offer this exchange.”
The political scientist also explained that it is unlikely that Prigozhin’s rivals from the Russian political field could stand behind the leak, since at the moment it is not beneficial to anyone. And if the fact of Prigozhin’s collusion with the Ukrainian side was confirmed, then the Russian command would have removed the Wagner PMC unit from the front line long ago.
“There are always some frictions and there are always attempts to play on them. But I doubt that from both sides, against the background of a key component, someone will try to use this question substantively. This, most likely, is already a struggle for what will happen after – what hardware positions different players will have, I will put it this way from afar. But I doubt that, given the amount of invested funds, someone will take risks and drain someone. This is unlikely. Moreover, all units exist and sit in specific positions, but if this had been known since April, then no one would have been standing there anywhere, ”Abzalov summed up.
Earlier, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin himself, who calls himself the founder of Wagner PMC, answered the question of the Daily Storm that “Russian-speaking citizens” who stole budgets are behind the publications in The Washington Post.
“I am absolutely sure that this is one of our, as they say, Russian-speaking citizens, and I think that they put full pants on that they have been stealing for years the budgets that were required for defense and for the greatness of the country, and now it will be necessary to answer to people,” he said.
The businessman emphasized that these people “are trying to smear everything with shit, thinking that they will help themselves with this.” But their efforts will be in vain anyway, he said.
“Because the people will demand that they hang on the gallows in Red Square. Of course, our gallows are kind and virtual, like Comrade Stalin’s,” Prigozhin concluded.
Earlier, the entrepreneur suggested that the materials about him were the work of either journalists chasing hype, or “comrades from Rublyovka, who once sold oil to ISIS*.”