Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner PMC, who recently claimed that the Russian Defense Ministry “does not like” him, has a new patron, a Russian oligarch, CEO of Rosneft Igor Sechin, reports the journal “We can explain”.
According to the news source’s informed source, Sechin and Prigozhin met informally after which Sechin consented to fund the Wagner Group out of Rosneft’s budget.
Prigozhin and the Russian military hierarchy have long-running disagreements. In a video they made in December, Wagner fighters berated Valery Gerasimov, the chairman of the general staff, and complained that the Russian Defense Ministry was denying the Wagner PMC ammunition.
According to Prigozhin, his PMC had no ammunition issues while the Russian troops in Ukraine were under the leadership of General Surovikin. “I’m not going to shove it in your face that while Russian men are dying in battle, you’re eating breakfast on platinum plates and sending your children to Dubai for a holiday. Give enough of the ammunition you have stored in your warehouses “Indirectly addressing Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, whose daughter celebrated the New Year in Dubai, Prigozhin remarked.
The Russian Defense Ministry allegedly refuses Prigozhin’s repeated demands for ammunition and equipment for his PMC.
The creator of the Russian PMC may have recently been sending signals to the German blogger Alfred Kokh, a former Russian statesman.”Prigozhin is by no means a fool, and he is not going to become a “boar”, who was fed to get fat just to be killed in the right time. And realizing that Putin was deliberately distancing himself from him and that in Russia he and his mercenaries had already been written off as cannon fodder, he decided that it was time to look for new masters. They are mercenaries after all, or who? Kokh argues. – If one employer does not fulfill the terms of the contract, then there is nothing shameful in moving to serve another. After all, it was not the soldier of fortune who refused to fulfill the contract, it was his employer who deflated and betrayed him.”
According to Kokh, Prigozhin is desperately sending signals to Zelensky, sometimes calling him “respected Volodymyr Oleksandrovych”, then bursting out in compliments and admiring the bravery of Ukrainian soldiers, then openly saying that “I would like to talk directly with Zelensky.”
It is likely that the Kremlin also noticed that Prigozhin is making advances towards the Ukrainian President and appointed him a “curator” in order to keep the Wagner founder within the bounds of decency.