Carl Bildt, co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations and former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics.
What really happened in Russia between Putin and Prigozhin?
Well, it was drama of the highest order. There was bound to come a clash between Putin and the military leadership on the one side and Mr. Prigozhin and the Wagner Group at some point in time. It had been building up. And then, of course, there was a crescendo with an attempt at a military coup de facto. That sort of failed. That was bound to happen. He didn't have the resources to take over the Kremlin. But what will come now remains to be seen. I think it's extremely unlikely that Mr. Prigozhin will fade from the scene. I think he will continue his campaign against the military leadership. And I think Mr. Putin will continue his attempt to get the Wagner Group under control. At the bottom of it all is, of course, the increasing recognition among virtually everyone in Russia that Mr. Putin has launched a war that he is not winning. And then there is a battle for whom to blame for this, the military leadership, Mr. Putin himself or someone else, which consequences to be drawn from that? We've only seen the first act of a drama that is bound to be, yes, dramatic in the months to come.