Putin and Prigozhin are like twin brothers - political expert

  • 2023-08-10
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Russian President Vladimir Putin did not resort to military force against the private mercenary group Wagner that staged the mutiny and did not punish its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin because the two are still allies, historian, political analyst and Russia expert Karlis Dauksts told LETA in an interview.

"Putin is very closely linked to Prigozhin, they are like twin brothers. Both of them run groups of bandits," Dauksts believes.

In his view, Prigozhin has some financial or other leverage to influence Putin, either through control or blackmail. Putin's actions in not punishing a man he has publicly called a traitor cannot otherwise be logically explained. What is more, Prigozhin is not only not being punished, but he even attended the Russia-Africa Summit in St Petersburg. For Dauksts, this is proof that the Kremlin still wants to pursue its mercantilist interests in Africa through Wagner.

"I agree that the Wagners do not pose a military threat to Latvia, but there is a threat and it is of an ideological nature. It is a kind of incitement of anti-government sentiment in certain groups of society that are not very satisfied with life in Latvia," the political scientist says.

Dauksts also gives his assessment of Russian opposition politicians. In his opinion, they are in their absolute majority liberal imperialists who hate the current regime but have no positive vision for the future.

"Girkin, one of the bloodiest criminals and has been convicted in absentia of downing a passenger plane, has just been arrested. The convicted opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who is in prison, even defended Girkin. This shows the political principles of the opposition. Navalny argues that Girkin is in the political opposition and should not be imprisoned. The following phrases are: we will start a new trial in Russia ourselves for the downing of the passenger plane, we will investigate these crimes ourselves. This means that the crime will not be investigated by international investigators, but ''by us''. These are strong elements of imperial thinking. The Russian opposition never talks about the future," Dauksts stressed.