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Candles are placed at a makeshift memorial near the former PMC Wagner Center, associated with the founder of the Wagner Group and Yevgeny Prigozhin, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

REUTERS/Anastasia Barashkova

Wagner and Russia’s next moves

Russia has confirmed the identities of the 10 people who died in a plane crash last Wednesday northwest of Moscow. They included Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group, as well key associates Dmitry Utkin and Valery Chekalov.

The question now turns to what happens to Wagner forces and the group’s clients, particularly African nations that are of strategic importance to Russia. Can President Vladimir Putin pick up where Prigozhin left off?

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Prigozhin presumed dead
Prigozhin presumed dead | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Prigozhin presumed dead

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Yevgeny Prigozhin, former head of Wagner Group and would-be putschist against Vladimir Putin's Kremlin and Russia, is no more. It was an unprecedented story, that coup attempt against Putin's regime. This was the man who, of course, had been built up and so loyal to Vladimir Putin with the most powerful paramilitary organization in the world, fighting a battle on the ground in Ukraine and fighting against the Minister of Defense and others, losing that battle and deciding to turn his forces against the Russian regime. First, in Rostov and capturing the seat of the Southern command, and then marching him probably on to Moscow, where at the final moment he backs down and agrees to a quote unquote deal with Putin. Putin, who went on national media and referred to Prigozhin as a traitor.

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