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What Prigozhin’s Death Means For Putin

On Wednesday, news began to circulate that the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary outfit, Prigozhin, died in a plane crash between St. Petersburg and Moscow (along with 7 of his top lieutenants). Just days prior, reports emerged that Russian military officials (not Wagner) had just met with Haftar in Libya. Normally, this would have been Wagner because Libya is one of its key stomping grounds (on behalf of the Kremlin).

And on Tuesday, right before the alleged plane crash, Prigozhin appeared on a video (again, the legitimacy of the video cannot be determined at this time) calling on recruits for Africa, Wagner’s wider stomping ground (the Sahel).

That Prigozhin attempted a mutiny in Moscow (and failed) has created much turmoil for Putin. He was allowed to walk away, but after that, his activities became very unclear. Two months later, no one really knows what he had been doing during that time, let alone whether he actually died in a plane crash (accidental or orchestrated) this week.

There are many possibilities to consider here, from a Putin-orchestrated assassination or an assassination by Russia’s military officials whom Prigozhin was constantly making a move against (Shoigu and Gerasimov, specifically)–or simply a random plane crash. There is no perfectly credible way to confirm any of the latest reports coming out of Moscow.

Let’s look at what has happened to anyone rallying behind Prigozhin since the failed mutiny—and…

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