Journalist wanted by Moscow says Prigozhin’s death will trigger a coup

Yevgueni Prigozhin

The Bulgarian investigative journalist Hristo Grozev, claimed by the Russian Justice, predicted a new coup in Russia after the alleged death of the head of the Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgueni Prigozhin, who was traveling in a plane that crashed on Wednesday in Russia.

Grozev, who is in hiding for fear of being assassinated by the Russian secret services, assured that “those things do not happen by chance and without the personal authorization of the Russian president” (Vladimir Putin), according to the NovaTV station.

In statements to that medium, Grozev compared the case of the paramilitary leader with the poisoning of opponent Alexey Navalni three years ago.

Grozev is a member of Bellingcat, a specialist fact-checking and open-source intelligence website, and was involved in investigations that identified two Russian officers allegedly linked to the 2014 downing of Malasya Airlines flight MH17/MAS17 in eastern Ukraine. , in which 298 people died.

According to the investigator, Putin was obliged to liquidate Wagner’s boss because he rules the country like a mafia runs.

“If you’re a mob boss, but you let someone throw a gauntlet at you without taking it out afterward, then you’re nobody. That is why Putin had to send this horrifying message to his opponents, ”he said, referring to the rebellion led by Prigozhin and his troops last June.

Regarding the possibility of a coup, the journalist assures that a large part of Russian society and military leaders sympathized with Prigozhin and even saw him as the next Russian leader.

Thus, he considers that these circles “will not forget what Putin has done with his idol and will always wait for a more appropriate moment to organize another coup. I am told even by Russian elite people with whom I am in contact,” Grozev said.

Grozev recently announced in an interview in the Financial Times that Prigozhin would either be assassinated before the end of the year or there would be a second coup attempt.

“It is not a question of having the abilities of a prophet, but that I follow the History of Russia and what my internal sources in the ranks of Wagner tell me. My forecast was a murder (of Prigozhin) in October or November, but some events in Africa accelerated this process, ”he noted in his talk with NovaTV.