As Wagner Fighters Threaten New 'March On Moscow', Putin Says Prigozhin Was "Talented" Man Who Made "Mistakes"

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Aug 24, 2023 - 07:20 PM

Wagner supporters inside Russia have set up makeshift memorials as they mourn the loss of their leader Yevegny Prigozhin, even as speculation continues that he could still be alive.

More importantly, some are threatening a new 'march of Moscow' to express rage at ruling powers in Moscow and commanders in the defense ministry. August 24, it should be noted, is precisely two months since the Wagner uprising of June 23, which resulted in several deaths of regular Russian troops.

Makeshift memorial in front of the PMC Wagner office in Novosibirsk, via AFP.

Wagner Telegram channels have reported Prigozhin's death, and that of his right-hand man Dmitry Utkin in the same crash outside of Moscow Wednesday.

UK media has meanwhile referenced Wagner social media statements to suggest some among the mercenary outfit may be attempting to organize a new march or large-scale protest aimed at Moscow, or at least they've issued a new threat of a "march":

A Wagner address last night, reported by the Sun, stated: 'We directly say that we suspect the Kremlin officials led by Putin of an attempt to kill him!'.

'If the information about Prigozhin's death is confirmed, we will organize a second March of Justice on Moscow!'

Meanwhile armed men claiming to be from the unit warned Putin in a video shared online: 'There's a lot of talk right now about what the Wagner Group will do. We can tell you one thing. 

'We are getting started, get ready for us.' 

In St. Petersburg, flowers were laid out in front of Wagner headquarters, with one mourner quoted as saying, "It's like losing a father. He was everything to us."

According to more from the scene:

Makeshift memorials appeared outside the private military group's former headquarters around midnight Thursday, with footage showing mourners bringing flowers, candles and patches featuring Wagner’s skull logo.

Similar memorials were spotted in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, according to the news website Sota. At least one supporter staged a one-man picket in the city of Yaroslavl, the news website 7x7 reported.

"Guys, we just have no words right now," said one masked man, who claimed to be a member of Wagner, according to AFP journalists. "Let's support Yevgeny Viktorovich [Prigozhin] and all our commanders. We need your support now."

On Thursday President Putin belatedly addressed the reported death of Prigozhin for the first time, vowing to see a criminal investigation through to completion, and hailing him as a "talented businessman" who made "mistakes".

According to a state media translation of the fresh Putin remarks:

Yevgeny Prigozhin was a man of many talents who made a “significant contribution” to the struggle against neo-Nazis in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, commenting on the plane crash that reportedly killed the Wagner Group head.

Speaking with journalists at the Kremlin, Putin said that he had known Prigozhin since the early 1990s, and described him as “a man of complicated destiny.”

He’d made serious mistakes in his life, but also got results. For himself as well as our common cause, when I asked it of him in these last months,” Putin added. He described Prigozhin as “a talented businessman” who worked in Russia as well as in Africa dealing with oil, gas, precious metals and gems.

Meanwhile the US has said it believes the Wagner private jet was shot down with a surface-to-air missile that originated from within Russia. If true, this would point to Putin or the military chain of command having made the decision to take the plane out.