Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau raised suspicions about the circumstances surrounding the reported death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the notorious Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organization. Minister Rau suggested that political opponents deemed as threats to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rule often meet untimely fates rather than natural causes.
Speaking during an interview on a Polish public television program, Rau stated, “Putin’s political opponents do not die of natural causes,” referencing past instances such as the killings of Anna Politkovskaya, Boris Nemtsov, and Alexander Litvinenko. These figures, known for their opposition to the Russian government, all met tragic ends under questionable circumstances.
The Wagner Group has long been a subject of international intrigue due to its involvement in various conflicts and its alleged ties to the Russian government. Minister Rau predicted that the reported demise of Prigozhin might lead to the disintegration of the Wagner Group, both in political and military terms.
The uncertainty surrounding Prigozhin’s fate arose when a private jet crashed in western Russia, claiming the lives of all ten individuals on board. While Prigozhin’s name was on the passenger list, it remains unclear whether he was among the casualties. Rau expressed his belief that the information regarding Prigozhin’s demise would likely be substantiated, further fueling speculation about foul play.
Government spokesperson Piotr Mueller echoed Rau’s concerns, noting that if Prigozhin’s death were confirmed, it could lead to increased control over the Wagner Group by individuals loyal to Putin. Mueller also pointed out allegations of Putin’s involvement in ordered assassinations within various countries.
Prigozhin had recently instigated a short-lived mutiny against Russia’s military leadership, which resulted in his supposed exile to Belarus according to Kremlin reports. However, he appeared to continue moving freely within Russia despite the purported exile.
As the circumstances surrounding Prigozhin’s reported death remain shrouded in uncertainty, international attention remains fixed on the possible implications for both the Wagner Group’s future and the ongoing power dynamics within Russia.