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Wagner boss is Putin’s ‘sword of Damocles’ and keeps ‘Russian elites’ in check

A former Russian intelligence officer has claimed that the feared Wagner mercenary group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin will never be jailed because he is Russian President Vladimir Putin's “sword of Damocles”.

In recent months, Prigozhin has slammed Russian leadership for the shambles that has become the invasion of Ukraine.

It was claimed back in February 2022, that Putin and Russian officials wanted to end the invasion in “72 hours” – but more than 15 months on, it shows no signs of nearing an end.

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This has led Prigozhin to go on a series of rants in recent months.

His frustrations has seen him admit that his group had, at one point, run out of ammo, while another rant detailed his anger at Russian leaders.

And in an expletive-laden rant, he said that he “wished” that Putin's right-hand man Sergei Shiogu would “burn in hell”.

Normal Russians would end up in prison for such actions, but not Prigozhin.

Speaking to Meduza, an ex-Russian intelligence officer said: “Why does Putin need this?

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“The popular theory among security officials is that Prigozhin is the sword of Damocles that hangs over the elites: he reins them in and maintains an atmosphere of fear.

“Putin is perfectly aware of the mood among the elites; he gets transcripts of their phone conversations.

“He knows that there are a lot of elites, including some who once belonged to his inner circle, who have doubts about the goals of the special military operation and the course of isolation that he’s chosen for the country.

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“But it would be difficult to deal with these people using the same methods he uses to deal with the opposition, such as law enforcement.

“He knows that a lot of people in the gang are unhappy with him, and how can he keep them at bay if not through someone like Prigozhin?”

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