Extraordinarily, responding to two video messages posted today by Chechen leaders in which they accused Prigozhin of various sins is no other than Dmitry "Wagner" Utkin, founder and commander of the PMC, who previously extremely rarely appeared in public.
The message, a text note for now, was posted on the large GREY ZONE Telegram channel, which became known since the start of the full-scale invasion for posts criticising negative elements of the Russian army, but the channel admin's identity remained anonymous.
A photo is attached to the post, apparently showing Utkin exiting a helicopter at an unknown landing area, signed with "GREY ZONE" "Wagner".
The note itself lists responses to a number of claims and accusations made by the Chechens loyal to Putin. Utkin reminded his counterparts of knowing each other since the times of the 1st and 2nd Chechen wars and his readiness to “talk”. The mention of two wars in this case is hardly too accidental since during the first war the men were on opposite sides of the front.
But the appearance of Utkin on stage is likely to continue as it serves the purpose of supporting Prigozhin and carving out more influence in the internal conflict between rapidly emerging factions within the Russian public space.
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