A mercenary turned his back on a mass murderer

A mercenary turned his back on a mass murderer

A mercenary turned his back on a mass murderer

After the death of Wagner’s mercenary leader, a military analyst says Vladimir Putin not only took out a former ally in front of the world but also warned others they can’t hide from his tyrannical, cold-blooded reach.

The truth about what is happening in the Russia-Ukraine war is a murky mess, mainly over who is winning and who is losing after 1 ½ years of war. More recently, many were skeptical when Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin appeared on video in mid-June to announce what appeared to be a coup, or perhaps an armed rebellion, and then he led a column of mercenaries headed toward Moscow.

Despite daily disagreement in Ukraine and Russia, all sides seem to agree footage of a spiraling twin-engine aircraft showed the end of Prigozhin (pictured below) and other top Wagner leaders. 

“Whether you're an oligarch or army general, you better be loyal or bad things can happen,” Bob Maginnis, who studies national security for the Family Research Council, says of Putin’s message to his enemies. 

Russia’s leader, now 70, famously served as a KGB colonel in East Germany during the Cold War. Putin made his first moves to accumulate political power during the 1990s, when he was named prime minister by President Boris Yeltsin. He has been in power since 2000, working around Russia’s two-term law to swap places and then return to the presidency.

Political opponents who might challenge Putin have learned from those who tried such as Alexei Navalny. After criticizing Putin publicly, he survived a nerve agent poisoning and remains behind bars in a remote penal colony.

Before his surprise coup attempt in June, Prigozhin had publicly criticized Russia’s top generals and pleaded with Putin to remove them to improve the war effort in Ukraine. The mercenary leader had also witnessed Russia’s generals use his own troops – many of them snatched from a prison cell – as cannon fodder to grind down Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

Maginnis, Robert (FRC) Maginnis

After the death of Prigozhin this week, Business Insider compiled a chilling list of prominent Russians who have died mysteriously – mostly by somehow falling out of hotel windows to their deaths.

“The reality is [Putin] is a thug, a mafia sort of guy,” Maginnis says. “He's a cold-blooded mass murderer with KGB experience in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.”

Putin also called Prigozhin a traitor immediately after the failed mutiny, Maginnis says, which meant the mercenary’s days were numbered.