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Putin is balanced on a delicate tightrope when it comes to Prigozhin

A little less than two weeks ago, we were taken to the camp at Tsel where Yevgeny Prigozhin appears to have popped up.

We were told by the Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko that Wagner had other encampment plans for their Belarusian stay.

But it seems not. Barely a week later Wagner military convoys were already en-route to Belarus and now, lo and behold, there is Prigozhin too, addressing his men with characteristic gusto, dynamism and scorn for Russia‘s efforts in Ukraine.

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Scolded he may have been by the Kremlin, cowed into acquiescence he is not.

This is precisely how he has managed to build himself such a following.

By getting stuck in with his men, rallying them, calling out what stands in their way.

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Now his mercenaries will focus on their old stomping ground of Africa he says, not returning to Ukraine unless conditions change radically.

And as per usual, he did not mince his words.

“What is happening at the front is a disgrace in which we do not need to participate,” he told his men.

Not exactly music to the ears of the Commander-in-Chief from the group which is nicknamed the “musicians”.

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Wagner Group’s leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has left Russia after his ”march for justice” failed – so what does this now mean for the war in Ukraine? Military Analyst, Sean Bell, explains.

Prigozhin has kept a low profile these past few weeks but he is returning to his habitual, spirited social media ways.

Vladimir Putin must hope that Prigozhin has understood that he needs to stick to his side of the deal, the terms of which, for now, appear to be being fulfilled.

Mr Putin also knows though that getting rid of Prigozhin would cause huge commotion, again, among the men he controls.

This is a delicate tightrope to tread with dangerous men.

As Prigozhin’s fellow Wagner commander said at the end of that video: “Welcome to hell.”


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