The Kremlin has not yet commented on Prigozhin’s death

The Kremlin has not yet commented on the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin. At the time of the crash, President Vladimir Putin was giving a speech in Kursk to mark the 80th anniversary of the Soviet Army’s victory in the Battle of Kursk, during World War II. Residents of Moscow described what happened as an expected development, and in Kiev they believe that it will raise the fighting spirit.

“The spectacular removal of Prigozhin two months after the coup attempt is a signal from Putin to the Russian elites before the 2024 elections,” Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, announced on the social network X (until recently Twitter).

US President Joe Biden also commented on the topic.

“I don’t know exactly what the facts are, but I’m not surprised.”

Asked by a journalist whether he thought Putin was behind what happened, Biden replied:

“Very little happens in Russia without Putin’s knowledge, but I don’t know enough to give an answer.”

“If it’s true, it shows that Putin will eliminate his opponents and it scares anyone who thinks to express an opinion that is different from his,” said Estonian Prime Minister Kaia Kalas.

The crash of the plane in which Yevgeny Prigozhin was traveling comes exactly two months after the failed riot attempt, and according to a number of analysts, it is no accident.

According to Kathryn Stoner of Stanford University, the timing is very good, and against the background of a series of removals from both the lower and upper echelons. She is referring to the reassignment of General Surovikin, who briefly led military operations in Ukraine and who disappeared from public view after Prigozhin’s rebellion. They did see him as a threat, says Stoner.

“It’s also a broader message to elites like ‘don’t challenge me’. I think a dictator tends to say that when he feels insecure. And I think it shows instability in Russia. Russia is not a country, which we don’t want to see unstable AND because of nuclear weapons. The fact that there is some division in the military was very clear in June, and that is a worrying signal for the stability of the country.”

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