Prigozhin’s Failed Challenge to Putin’s Power

BGA Briefing on Prigozhin’s challenge to Putin’s power and the trends shaping the Ukraine War

Key Takeaways:

  • Prigozhin’s failed assault seriously challenges Putin’s grip on power, which depends on him demonstrating to his people and the world, that he is the strong, uncontested leader, guaranteeing order, security and stability, in control of patronage networks and media propaganda.
  • Russian forces show no signs of disintegration and fighting on the front lines continues with undiminished intensity. However, friction around the future of Wagner group as well as weakened morale and cohesion within the military may severely impact Russia’s war effort down the line.
  • Russian propaganda was at a loss explaining what had happened and could not protect Putin from being publicly exposed to his weaknesses, and his core war narrative was deconstructed by his so far strongest and highest profile war campaigner.
  • Focus of Western leaders over the past weeks had been on trying to devise a way of stopping the war without legitimising Russia’s land grab in Europe.
    Assuming a stabilisation of Russia’s political and military situation, Ukraine’s counter-offensive is facing a tough campaign over the coming months most likely focused along two axes in the south-east.
  • In the run up to the July NATO summit in Vilnius, Western leaders are concentrating on a US-Israeli type security arrangement with long-term military support commitments.


Read the full BGA Briefing here.


Authors: Martin Wiesmann | Moritz Lütgerath