The head of Russia’s private military group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, warned that Russia could face a 1917-style revolution and lose the war in Ukraine unless the elite seriously dealt with the war.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 sparked one of the bloodiest conflicts in Europe since World War II and the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Prigozhin said Ukraine was preparing a counter-offensive aimed at pushing back Russian forces to the pre-2014 borders, when Russia annexed Crimea. He added that Ukraine would try to surround Bakhmut and launch an offensive in Crimea.
“Most likely, this scenario will not be in Russia’s interest, so we need to prepare for an arduous war,” he added in an interview on his Telegram channel.
“We’re in a situation where we can lose Russia, that’s the main problem… We need to impose martial law,” he said.
He noted that the Russian elite is protecting its own people from participating in the war while the people’s cousins perish at the front, a situation that he said could lead to unrest in Russia.
He said that if ordinary citizens continued to receive the bodies of their children while the sons of the elite basked in the sun on trips abroad, Russia would face unrest similar to the 1917 revolution that sparked a civil war.
On Tuesday, the Russian army announced that it had crushed with its air force and artillery the group that attacked the area the previous day, in the largest incursion into Russian territory since the start of the conflict.
Russian authorities said a civilian was killed in the village of Kozynka, towns were attacked and a woman died of a heart attack while being evacuated.
Russian armed groups based in Ukraine claimed responsibility for the incursion to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin.