The mysterious death of Russian paramilitary commander, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has sparked numerous theories, especially after he launched a mutiny against the Russian general staff and indirectly against President Vladimir Putin. Two months post this mutiny, Prigozhin died in a plane crash near Moscow. Speculations arise: was it an accident, was he targeted by rivals, was it a move by Putin’s advisors without his explicit instruction, or did the order come directly from Putin himself? The diverse theories shed light on the complexities and power dynamics within Putin’s Russia.
- Accident Theory: The investigation into Prigozhin’s crash is likely to label it as an accident. Factors such as sanctions on Russia affecting the plane’s maintenance and heightened air defense alerts due to Ukrainian drone attacks might be cited. Still, many believe that this event underscores Putin’s destabilizing influence on Russia.
- Targeted by Rivals: Once protected by Putin, Prigozhin’s recent fallout might have exposed him to threats from business rivals and high-ranking officials in the Russian government. If air defense units were responsible for the crash, fingers may point towards the Moscow high command. The current power dynamics allow for individual institutional interests to take precedence.
- Initiative by Kremlin Advisors: Considering Putin’s recent detached leadership style, there’s a theory that his close advisors could have acted on assumed preferences without direct orders. This perspective aligns with the view of increased independence within Putin’s circle and the broad power of the security services.
- Direct Order from Putin: Putin’s history of acting against those he labels as traitors gives credence to the theory that he might have directly ordered the hit on Prigozhin, especially to reassert his authority after being perceived as weak post the mutiny.