Prigozhin's ultimatum is pushing the Russian government towards a systemic crisis

<strong>Prigozhin's ultimatum is pushing the Russian government towards a systemic crisis</strong>
On May 5, the head of the “Wagner” military formation, E. Prigozhin, published a public appeal to V. Putin, S. Shoigu, and V. Gerasimov with an ultimatum regarding the situation in Bakhmut. Prigozhin accused the Russian Ministry of Defence and the General Staff of deliberately refusing to supply shells to his units. Prigozhin also announced that on May 10, his formation would leave its positions near Bakhmut as a sign of protest against the disruption of ammunition supplies. On the same day, R. Kadyrov announced that the “Akhmat” unit under his control was ready to replace the “Wagner” mercenaries in the battles for Bakhmut. Prigozhin immediately agreed and publicly appealed to S. Shoigu to issue such an order. The American newspaper “The Washington Post” published an article describing the conflict between Prigozhin and the Ministry of Defence, as well as data that V. Putin forbade Prigozhin to recruit prisoners to his unit, thus the Russian president sided with S. Shoigu in this conflict. On May 7, Prigozhin announced that he had received guarantees that the Ministry of Defence would provide all necessary supplies of ammunition, as well as organize interactions on the flanks with his units to protect against possible encirclement by units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In this regard, the “Wagner” formation will continue participating in hostilities. The conflict between Russian influence groups has been slowed down, but not resolved, and the contradictions that have been revealed will increase.

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