Russian’s Wagner Group leader: “I am not a chef, I am a butcher. Russia is in danger of a revolution like in 1917.”
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian oligarch who runs the Wagner Group, has warned that if Moscow doesn't change course in Ukraine, a popular revolt similar to the Bolshevik Revolution could begin.
Prigozhin, who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, made the comments in an interview with the Russian newspaper Kommersant. He said that the Russian military is not prepared for a long war in Ukraine and that the country's economy is not strong enough to sustain it.
"If we don't recruit more soldiers and drain our economy for the war, a popular revolt will begin," Prigozhin said. "First, the soldiers will rebel, then their relatives. There are already thousands like them. Russians are receiving their children in coffins, while the elite's children bask in the sun."
Prigozhin also criticized the Russian military leaders and called for the overthrow of the Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defense. He said that the objective in Ukraine has not been achieved and that Stalin would not accept such a failure.
Prigozhin's comments are a rare public rebuke of the Russian government's handling of the war in Ukraine. They come at a time when the war is increasingly unpopular with the Russian public. A recent poll found that only 29% of Russians support the war, while 59% oppose it.
Prigozhin's comments could also be seen as a warning to Putin. Prigozhin is a powerful figure in Russia and has a close relationship with the president. His comments could be seen as a sign that he is losing faith in Putin's ability to win the war in Ukraine.
It is unclear what impact Prigozhin's comments will have. However, they are a sign that the war in Ukraine is becoming increasingly unpopular with the Russian public and that there is a growing risk of a popular revolt.