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Death of Wagner chief Prigozhin strengthens Putin’s hand in Russia, John Bolton says


  • The apparent death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of Russia’s private mercenary firm Wagner group, likely gives Russian President Vladimir Putin a tighter grip on his country, former U.S. national security advisor John Bolton told CNBC.

  • The 62-year-old paramilitary leader, once a close confidant of Putin’s, led an aborted mutiny against the Russian government exactly two months before the fatal crash of a plane on which he was listed as a passenger.

  • Bolton also expressed concern regarding Ukraine’s slow progress in its counteroffensive.

The apparent death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of Russia’s private mercenary firm Wagner Group, likely gives Russian President Vladimir Putin a tighter grip on his country, a former U.S. national security advisor told CNBC.

Prigozhin was on the passenger list of a plane involved in a fatal crash on Wednesday in the Tver region of Russia, outside Moscow.


“My own sense is this [incident] probably strengthens Putin’s hand considerably inside Russia,” John Bolton, who served as national security advisor under the Trump administration, told CNBC’s Dan Murphy on Thursday.

“I’d never bought the argument that the mutiny two months ago was a real direct threat to Putin — I think his position was weakened, but now I think it’s stronger,” Bolton said, referencing the short-lived rebellion by Prigozhin and his Wagner contingent against the Russian government, which took place over June 23-24.

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