Yevgeny Prigozhin takes a ‘cowboy approach to war’: ISW
Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief financier of the Mercenary Wagner Group, is becoming “more and more bold” in his criticism of the Russian military, according to the latest report from the Institute for War Research (ISW).
In the ISW assessment released on Wednesday, the think tank said Prigozhin had stepped up its criticism of the Russian Defense Ministry’s (MoD) new guidelines for troops along the front lines in the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine. The new policy includes restricted use of personal electronic devices and stricter standards of care for male soldiers.
Prigozhin has reportedly defended frontline soldiers who are not abiding by the new personal hygiene rules, saying that “beards are common for many Muslim and Orthodox Christian combatants,” the ISW reported. The Russian businessman also claimed that the use of personal electronic devices was necessary for “modern warfare”.
“Prigozhin’s comments reflect a cowboy approach to war unsuited to the development and maintenance of an effective, large-scale and disciplined modern military,” ISW reported.
Prigozhin has long been a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the private mercenaries of Prigozhin’s Wagner Group played a crucial role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Prigozhin, however, has recently been overly critical of the defense ministry, and just last week quarreled with Putin over which militia group was credited with capturing Soledar, a salt-mining town in eastern Ukraine.
The ISW reported that one of Prigozhin’s “boldest attacks” recently was the claim that some Russian officials opposed the Kremlin’s ongoing political debate on banning the use of YouTube in Russia. According to Wednesday’s assessment, Priogzhin claims that Russian officials oppose a ban on the social platform “because it would undermine their efforts to get the United States and Russia to resume ties after Russia lost the war in Ukraine.” “.
Prigozhin and other prominent voices critical of Putin, including Russian military blogger Igor Girkin, have also “created a new space” to criticize the Kremlin in Russia’s information space, the ISW wrote. As the think tank notes, Putin has yet to censor some of his loudest online critics.
Despite Russia’s continued setbacks in its invasion of Ukraine, which is set to reach its one-year mark at the end of February, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Tuesday that Russia has a three-year plan to increase its armed forces to 1.5 million military personnel.
When news week As previously reported, Russia’s military currently numbers 1.35 million and the expansion plan is unlikely to have a major impact on the war in the coming months, according to the ISW. However, the institute said the planned troop surge is likely a sign that Russia intends to wage “large-scale conventional warfare” beyond Ukraine.
However, last week Ukrainian officials put the death toll in Russia since the invasion at 112,470 soldiers news week underestimated the number.
news week has reached out to the Russia and Eurasia Program at Chatham House for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/yevgeny-prigozhin-taking-cowboy-approach-war-isw-1774858 Yevgeny Prigozhin takes a ‘cowboy approach to war’: ISW