Prigozin (left), head of the Russian mercenary group "Wagner", and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

(Associated Press file photo)

[Compilation Guan Shuping/Comprehensive Report] The American military think tank "Institute of War (ISW)" pointed out that in a recently published interview, Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian mercenary group "Wagner", revealed that Messages suggesting that he intends to challenge the incumbent President Vladimir Putin in the 2024 Russian presidential election.

ISW pointed out in its analysis of the Ukrainian-Russian war situation on the 28th that Prigozin’s Federal News Agency (Federal News Agency) announced that he accepted the media and Russia Today (Russia Today) and “Russia Today” on March 14. Ria Novosti and other Russian state-run media, this interview is notable for its "unique format": During the interview, Prigozin appeared to imitate Russian President Vladimir Putin's filming of a deliberately arranged public meeting Or the way to take pictures of the occasion, "This is either silently mocking Putin, or suggesting that Prigozin may become the president of Russia like Putin."

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ISW's analysis believes that Prigozin may be using his influence in Russia's mainstream media to pose as a challenger in Russia's 2024 presidential election.

Arranging such an interview is "unusual" for him, because he usually chooses to shoot him with a wide-angle lens on the battlefield, or in the arranged video, he is full of energy and shows a "frank and resolute" look, not like this time The interview sits at a table and is filmed in the "stylized form" with the same angle of view as Putin.

Prigozin, a close ally of Putin, often boasted about the achievements of his Wagner Group in the Ukrainian-Russian War and criticized the Russian Ministry of Defense at high decibels.

According to ISW analysis, "Prygozin's recent actions, regardless of his intentions, are advancing a view in Russian society that Prygozin has greater political ambitions in Russia."

In response to the ISW analysis, John Lough, an associate researcher at the Russia and Eurasia Program at the London-based think tank Chatham House, said it was "unfounded speculation" and that "Prigezin is trying to To influence the course of this war, but that is very different from being politically ambitious."

Martin Smith, a senior lecturer in defense and international affairs at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, also said, "I think it is unlikely that Prigozin will formally challenge the Russian president" After the imperial government became weaker and weaker due to the war, it exerted the greatest power possible behind the scenes.