Russia, Kortunov (Riac): “Prigozhin’s death will have more impact in Africa than Ukraine”

“Founder Wagner no longer had political influence, uncertainty about new chain of command”

“It will be more visible in Africa than in Ukraine” the impact on the Wagner group of the alleged death of its head and founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died in the crash of a private plane between Moscow and St. Petersburg. This was stated to Adnkronos by Andrej Kortunov, academic director of the Russian Council for International Affairs (Riac) in Moscow. According to Kortunov, although few details have emerged on the causes of the crash, what happened “not necessarily” will mean the dissolution of Wagner. And caution is also expressed by the analyst on the hypothesis that Russia’s influence could now decrease in those African countries where the group of mercenaries is more rooted.

“It will depend on whether or not Wagner proves to have a strong second line of command in Africa. Prigozhin kept a lot of things under his personal control. Utkin and Chekalov were also key,” Kortunov explains, referring respectively to Prigozhin’s right-hand man and the adviser to the founder of the group that ended up under sanctions by the US Treasury, both deceased as confirmed by Rosaviatsia, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency.

Finally, the Russian analyst does not believe that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, could have strengthened his power in the Kremlin after the news of Prigozhin’s death. “I don’t see big changes. Prigozhin had no political influence since early July,” Kortunov says, alluding to the consequences of the ‘march on Moscow’ led by the founder of Wagner against the Russian military leaders accused by him of incapacity in Ukraine.