Putin ‘had to get rid of Prigozhin’ due to chief’s ’embarrassing’ behaviour

Yevgeny Prigozhin became a “complete embarrassment” who forced Vladimir Putin’s hand, an expert has claimed.

The Russian despot has been blamed for instrumenting the death of his former right-hand man after his plane crashed in Russia on Wednesday.

While authorities have yet to confirm whether he was among the eight people to die in the incident, world leaders have quickly pointed the finger at Putin, who was humiliated by the Wagner leader’s failed June coup.

Speaking to GB News, Robert Fox, the Evening Standard’s defence editor, said something “was going to happen”.

He claimed that Putin likely hoped the mercenary chief’s death would “close a chapter”.

READ MORE: Wagner vows revenge for Prigozhin plane crash which ‘had all hallmarks of FSB’

Mr Fox told the channel that he doubted Russia would ever confirm that Prigozhin died in the plane crash on Wednesday.

Footage shows an aircraft falling from the sky with smoke cascading from its side as it appears to ragdoll in the air.

He said that, as far as Putin is concerned, Prigozhin had “become an embarrassment” to the Russian leader.

He blamed “mob-style” justice for the leader’s reported death and claimed the Russian leader likely did not know when the kill order was made, like a “mafia don”.

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Mr Fox added that Prigozhin’s death was likely deemed necessary as he was “becoming a complete embarrassment” to Putin, and his actions humiliated the Russian military.

He suggested the situation was one of “you crossed me, I will cross you – you will be crossed off the list”.

Whether he was responsible or not, the expert added that Putin hopes for a “new chapter” to open in his leadership of the war in Ukraine.

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He suggested that the West would likely hear “a lot more” in the future, as it remains in Moscow’s interest to “keep things guessing”.

He added: “Putin is clearing the deck for the next phase of this grinding war.”

But Mr Fox added that it is “completely unclear” what Prigozhin’s death would mean for the war in Ukraine.

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