Putin buries the “Prigozhin era”

The Wagner Group headquarters in St. Petersburg, dubbed the Wagner Center, has become a place of pilgrimage for anyone with any direct or indirect connection to this mercenary battalion. Relatives of a member, supporters of his exploits on the battlefield or just curious people continue to come to the building No. 15 on Zolnaya Street with flowers, flags or photos of the late Yevgeny Prigozhin under their arms to place them near the access door From outside it looks like a makeshift altar.

Two buildings that seem to embrace each other and that were inaugurated last November, not far from the famous “troll farm” that he built himself to try to get the opinion of social networks on everything related to Russia or third countries has to do with rigging elections.

The last days of summer in the former capital of the tsars are sunny, inviting residents to hit the streets and use the remaining time before returning to offices and universities. The imposing glass office complex reflects the daylight and lends something almost religious to this gift of anonymous people. Many cross themselves. Nobody is talking. The eye is distracted by cellphone screens to read that the Russian Investigative Committee (CIR) has just confirmed that the bodies of the former leader of the Wagner Mercenary Company and the other nine people who died in the recent accident involving his plane Life came, were found Wednesday. The Kremlin denied any involvement in the plane’s crash, although the US has indicated that the incident may have been caused by an explosion on board. However, Pentagon sources indicate that it is “unlikely” that Russian forces shot down the device with a missile.

No one is surprised by news that everyone has felt. Dmitri Utkin, Prigozhin’s armed right-hand man, is also identified in DNA tests, closing one of the scariest chapters in recent Russian history. According to the statement published by the CIR on its Telegram channel, “genetic-molecular studies have been completed as part of the investigation into the plane crash in the Tver region”. “Prigozhin was someone who felt uncomfortable because he was telling the truth that nobody wanted to hear,” says a young man who has been standing in front of these buildings for several minutes and says his name is Artur. “Many people were willing to go to Wagner. That’s what I thought too. When there’s no future, that’s the best chance life can give you, even though you know it might be shorter if you go to war. “It doesn’t matter where the front line is,” adds this teenager, who says he’s from a town in the region.

The first “almost official” confirmation of Prigozhin’s death came from Russian President Vladimir Putin the day after the incident, when he offered his condolences to the oligarch’s family during a meeting with journalists in the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin, who has become the main suspect among Prigozhin’s supporters, can boast of having everything under control within his borders and no threat in sight. Clean and primed for his umpteenth presidential election next spring, which will focus on conquering the Donbas.

Although the most conservative parts of the country have criticized his reluctance to campaign in Ukraine and the disappearance of a figure like Yevgeny Prigozhin, a patriot who was not afraid to die for his country, as he taught his soldiers. Everything is in the networks, and in them it is not difficult to find numerous channels of support for Wagner. One of them, dubbed “Grey Zone”, brings together thousands of followers who, in every message, express their dissatisfaction with the future disappearance of the famous mercenary group. The radical messages are being welcomed by a broad section of society, which does not think it is unreasonable for the country to stage an uprising like that of Yevgeny Prigozhim in June.

Ever since the uprising failed, the founder of the Wagners knew his hours were numbered. He became a corpse with an indefinite life, which he used to bind some of his work. He never missed an opportunity to express his patriotism, even though he knew his disappearance was the best thing that could have happened for Russia’s political and social stability.

A video of Prigozhin is circulating on the networks, in which he very clearly answers a question from an interviewer: “Better kill me.” If the screws are not properly tightened, the plane will disintegrate in the air. Lit candles are a tribute to him.

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