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Taylor Discusses the Wagner Group, Russian President Putin with Business Insider, DW and Newsweek

July 7, 2023

Business Insider,DW,Newsweek

Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor

Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin issued a new statement on Monday, short in words and vague in the aftermath of his paramilitary organization's attempted mutiny of Moscow nine days earlier.

He hasn't been seen in public since he departed the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on June 24. He later received a peace deal of sorts from the president of Belarus, a close ally of  Putin's, to seek refuge in his country in exchange for military de-escalation against Moscow and Russian Army officials.

Brian Taylor, professor of political science and Russian expert, tells Newsweek that the mutiny fallout has put Putin in a position he's neither familiar nor comfortable with—often using his pulpit to blast political enemies, both inside and outside of Moscow.

"Now he's applying that very same language to one of his own guys, someone he elevated to a position of power and responsibility," Taylor says.

"Although he's not directly attacking Putin, [Prigozhin's] attacking the minister of defense in the army. De facto he is articulating a series of grievances that ultimately strike at Putin in the system he's created itself, even though he's someone who has come from within the inner circle in some respects."

Taylor was also quoted in the Business Insider article, "Why did Russia invade Ukraine? Experts break down Putin's motivations and excuses for launching his war," and the DW article, "Wagner Group mutiny: The end for Russian defense minister?"

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