Saturday, July 13, 2024

Russia has tamped down dissent since Wagner mutiny: Western officials

Western officials believe the Russian government has silenced dissent by detaining up to seven people following Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mutiny last month.

“We’ve seen up to seven individuals have been reported to have been detained,” the officials said during a briefing on Wednesday.

“What we’re seeing is anybody who does actively speak up, is either removed from post or imprisoned,” they added.

The officials state they have not seen any impact on the frontline in Ukraine, but believe the threat of demotion or detention has discouraged many of those critical of Putin and the Russian government from coming forward.

“What it has done is anyone who’s thinking of speaking out effectively is keeping their head down now, and just getting on with it,” the officials stressed.

During the briefing, they also said that Prighozin is facing a “cash-flow” problem which is affecting his ability to keep his fighters under employment.

“[Prigozhin] still seems to be active but there seems to be an element of offloading financial assets, both inside Russia and outside to try and raise funds,” the officials added.

“He does seem to have a cash flow problem at the moment, which is obviously impacting his ability to continue employing mercenaries,” they continued, noting, “Everybody’s still trying to work out exactly what Prigozhin is doing in Belarus.”

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