In Russia, Prigozhin Remembered As 'great Man' Year After Mutiny

(@FahadShabbir)

In Russia, Prigozhin remembered as 'great man' year after mutiny

Moscow, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Jun, 2024) Almost a year since Yevgeny Prigozhin sent his Wagner mercenaries marching towards Moscow in a rebellion against Russia's military leadership, residents in the capital spoke of respect and admiration for the late renegade.

The mercenary chief died in a mysterious aeroplane crash two months after ordering the short-lived mutiny on June 23-24 2023.

But despite mounting the biggest ever challenge to President Vladimir Putin's near quarter of a century in power, Prigozhin and his Wagner Group continue to command respect.

"He did a lot for Russia at a difficult moment," said 60-year-old caretaker Alexander Ulyanov, calling the late mercenary boss a "great man".

Wagner spearheaded some of the Kremlin's longest and bloodiest military campaigns in Ukraine, including the fight for the mostly destroyed city of Bakhmut in the east.

"The organisation he created has an iron discipline," Ulyanov said.

Prigozhin is alive "in our hearts," he added, comparing him to historical generals like Mikhail Kutuzov, who led Russian soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars.

"If people remember him, he's alive," Ulyanov said of Prigozhin.

A former hotdog seller and convicted criminal, Prigozhin became acquainted with Putin in the 1990s, later running catering businesses that served the Kremlin.

Nicknamed "Putin's chef", his influence quickly grew as he won government contracts, eventually founding the Wagner Group in 2014 to support Russian paramilitaries in east Ukraine.

After his death, for which the Kremlin categorically denied responsibility, Putin praised Prigozhin as a "talented businessman" who made "serious mistakes".