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Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner Group private military company (PMC), switched his media activity to Russian regions after Bakhmut.
Source: Russian Latvian-based media outlet Meduza
Details: In two days at the end of May, Prigozhin managed to give three press conferences: in Yekaterinburg, Vladivostok and Novosibirsk (another one is expected in Nizhny Novgorod).
Putin's "cook" presents a project called "Wagner. The second front." It is not clear what this "front" is.
Quote from Meduza: "The project is aimed either at military-patriotic education of young people or at allegedly telling Russians honestly about the problems associated with the war in Ukraine and not just about the success of the Russian Defence Ministry (with which the head of the PMC is actively in conflict)."
More details: The set of theses that Prigozhin voices to journalists is roughly the same everywhere: the war will be long, we urgently need to announce a general mobilisation, return the death penalty and introduce a planned economy.
At the same time, the Wagnerites’ chief stresses that his current activity should not be regarded as the beginning of a political career; he does not plan to create his own party or run for president.
Among other things, Prigozhin commented on the recent drone attack on Moscow. He suggested that "ordinary Muscovites" should be patient, and the Ministry of Defence should deploy more air defence systems.
He also recalled his attempts to capture Bakhmut. Prigozhin complained that he did not have enough mercenaries, that he was "stopped from recruiting prisoners" and that he was "starved of shells".
The Wagner leader also agreed with Ramzan Kadyrov's recent proposal to impose martial law in Russia.