There have been widely-reported tensions between the Kremlin and the private military group Wagner.

Its boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has frequently lashed out at Russia‘s military leadership, most recently for allegedly failing to provide his forces with enough ammunition.

Russia analyst Kateryna Stepanenko, from think tank The Institute for the Study of War, said he “likely overestimated his favour with Putin and the combat effectiveness of his forces in hopes that achievements in Ukraine would secure him a spot near Putin”.

She told The Ciper Brief: “Prigozhin likely imagined his efforts in Ukraine would continue to lend him military and political power in Russia.

“But Prigozhin began to exploit the Russian information space – and his prominence – to attack the Russian Ministry of Defence and Russian military command in hopes of pursuing his commercial and political objectives such as the legalisation of Wagner in Russia.”

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