Wagner boss is indispensable to Russia after dramatic return, claims expert

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    The partially exiled boss of the Wagner mercenary group is “indispensable to Russia ” after being brought back into the fold under President Vladimir Putin, an expert has claimed.

    Yevgeny Prigozhin was believed to have been holing up in Belarus after his Wagner mercenaries appeared to stage a failed coup in Russia last month.

    But Putin appears to have axed plans to exile Prigozhin and his 8,000 Wagner mercenaries to Belarus.

    READ MORE: True scale of Russian losses in Ukraine revealed for the first time with grim death toll

    And while his whereabouts are currently unconfirmed, reports are emerging that he could have gone back to Moscow or St Petersburg and is leading Wagner once again.

    Expert and journalist Mikhail Rostovsky, writing for Kremlin-backed news outlet Moskovskij Komsomolets has claimed that Prigozhin is now more inmportant than ever to Putin.

    He said: “If Wagner PMC is indispensable for the Russian state, then Evgeny Prigozhin is indispensable for Wagner PMC.

    “The heads of official Russian power and law enforcement agencies are easily changed with the help of a single presidential decree.

    “In the case of the structure created by Yevgeny Prigozhin, everything is quite different.

    “Wagner is Prigozhin, and Prigozhin is Wagner, and out of conjunction with each other, they simply cannot exist – or, if they can, then with a sharply reduced efficiency.

    “Likewise, Wagner cannot exist without Russia and without the Russian state budget.”

    • Wagner boss 'could assassinate Zelenskyy by shooting his jet down' after Putin meeting

    News of Prigozhin being brought back into the Russian fold comes at the same time as the most accurate figures regarding Russian losses in Ukraine have been revealed.

    President Vladimir Putin's officials have constantly refused to release information on the losses suffered in battle.

    And while many have been reporting figures provided by Ukraine's leadership as accurate, a new report from anti-Kremlin Russian media outlet Meduza details what appears to be the most accurate figures yet.

    • 'I was beaten like a dog by Russians – but Roman Abramovich helped me escape death row'

    The outlet teamed with journalists at Mediazone and Tubingen University to calculate that Russia has seen between 40,000 and 55,000 soldiers killed in battle.

    It also calculates that around 70,000 men have been injured so badly in battle that they can not return to the front line.

    The three organisations came to the figures by calculating reports from the Federal State Statistics Service, the National Probate Registry and published obituaries.

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    • Vladimir Putin
    • Russia
    • Ukraine
    • Russia Ukraine war

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