Yevgeny Prigozhin, an extremely wealthy oligarch and close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is also the senior leader of Wagner Group, a private military company (PMC).  However, in an unprecedented show of dissension, Prigozhin allegedly asked Putin to declare, “the end of the special military operation in Ukraine.”

In a blog article posted on the messaging app Telegram this past Friday, Prigozhin called on the Russian president to declare, “Moscow won the special military operation by exterminating a large part of the male population in Ukraine and occupying its territories.”  With 300 million users, Telegram has a dubious reputation for illegal and nefarious use, such as spreading hate, illegal pornography, criminal communication and the trading of illegal services and goods.

During his rant, Prigozhin stated, “Russia has captured a large part of Ukraine’s territory,” and that, “the best strategy for the Russian army, which suffered heavy losses, is to maintain the existing achievements.” Although previously reports suggest there may be differences of opinion between Prigozhin and Putin, he re-emphasized “nothing threatens Russia’s power,” an obvious reference to the Russian president and perhaps out of concern for his own personal self-preservation.

The rant continued, stating that “for the authorities and society as a whole, it is necessary to put an end to the special operation”.   Prigozhin believes, “the ideal option is to announce the end of the special operation and declare that Russia has achieved the goals that were planned.” During the blog, he also stated about the goals, that “in a sense, Moscow also achieved them. We killed a huge number of Ukrainian soldiers, so we can report that missions in the special operation have been completed. Russia has occupied a large part of Ukraine’s territory, and even managed to create a land corridor to the Crimean Peninsula.”

Initial American Thought

Some analysts, like the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a Washington, D.C. think tank, believe that Prigozhin’s has created a “strawman argument,” and the overall message really is to continue with the invasion. “Prigozhin has an idiosyncratic rhetorical and writing style that relies heavily on deadpan sarcasm, selective ambiguity, aphorisms, vulgarity, and ironic slang,” the ISW’s stated.

European Ideas on the Current State of the Oligarchs

A Brussels-based analysis and forum on EU affairs, the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) believes there are signs emerging among Russia’s wealthy and powerful of deep worry and concern about their future. Last month, a supposed wiretapped discussion was released according to Istories, a Russian investigative website.

The 35-minute recording provides a contemptuous and disdainful view of Putin.  The Russian President is described as Satan and a lowlife, while being called other expletives. The exchange was between a former senator of the Federation Council and music producer, Iosif Prigozhin with no relation to Wagner Goup’r Prigozhin and the billionaire Farkhed Akhmedov.  It is very unusual for the Russian oligarchs’ discussions to be captured. CEPA believes that their discussions may have been expressing mainstream opinion of the Russia’s privileged, indicating that Russia’s most powerful and wealthy may very well be frustrated, displeased, and deeply concerned about the future.

According to the report, during the recorded conversation, the voice allegedly belonging to Prigozhin said that Russia has already lost the war and that Putin “drove himself” into a “s***hole.”  And with regard to Putin situation, Prigozhin stated “Speaking honestly, yeah, f***ing stop, get the Nobel Prize, and get the f*** out. Look, he gave the country away anyway.”

Then one of the two says Putin “doesn’t give a f*** about anything. And he doesn’t give a f*** about the people…..How will we clean all this up later? Fascism will be here, a military dictatorship. You’ll see. That’s how it’s going to end,” a voice says, only for his interlocutor to agree.

The voice allegedly belonging to Prigozhin said that Russia has already lost the war and that Putin “drove himself” into a very difficult place.

The oligarchs are not seeking a better future for Russia and the Russian people.  These are some of the most self-serving people in the world. Their interests are only money and becoming wealthier.  If Putin’s had quickly won the war in Ukraine, these men would be discussing dividing the spoils in Ukraine.

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Jay Hicks is an author, instructor and consultant. With a special kinship for military personnel, Jay provides guidance on successful civilian career transition and has co-authored “The Transitioning Military Series”. He is the co-founder of Gr8Transitions4U, where advocating the value of hiring military personnel is the key focus. More about Jay and his passion can be found at