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Wars run by mercenaries

Wars run by mercenaries

When the battle between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group, finally reached the brink of an unsuccessful coup, the question raised by political observers from the world over was who would have the last laugh in this cold war. On Wednesday, Prigozhin boarded a private jet about 100 miles from the Russian capital, Moscow. The plane caught fire and crashed. Although the cause of the tragedy is still being investigated, the tale of Prigozhin who made the palace revolt is over. Prigozhin was among the 10 people- including 3 cabin crew members - who were killed in the crash. Russian officials have also confirmed that Wagner Group Commander Dmitry Utkin was also on board the flight. Wagner-affiliated news outlets who confirmed the leader's death said that the plane crash was a result of an attack by Russian air defence centres. "The head of the Wagner Group, a Hero of Russia, a true patriot of his Motherland – Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin died as a result of the actions of traitors to Russia", the post read. Those who knew about the Russian President who gained notoriety for his communist totalitarianism were in no doubt about the fate that awaited Prigozhin after the unsuccessful coup he instigated two months earlier. The words of American President Joe Biden, who said he was not surprised after hearing the news, strike the right note. Biden further clarified that nothing happens in Russia without Putin being behind it. An advisor of the President of Ukraine said that Prigozhin was signing a special death warrant when he marched to Moscow last June with close to 2.5 lakh soldiers but ultimately had to sign a deal with Putin. The President had warned that those who were involved in the riots on that day would be punished to the utmost. Putin had given in to a bloodless deal following the mutiny, perhaps to gauge Prigozhin's influence among the people and the army. Nevertheless, as Prigozhin's palace was raided - even though the Kremlin had said criminal charges against him would be dropped - Putin was reiterating the old threat 'Can't forgive betrayal'.

Starting out as 'Putin's Chef', later doubling as a private mercenary at the expense of the nation, Prigozhin, who was behind the military operations in Syria and Ukraine, is said to be deserving of any punishment he can get in communist Russia for treason. That is why Wednesday's plane crash is seen by the world as more than just a tragedy but as an act of the communist totalitarian system. Dissidents being killed in mysterious circumstances during Putin's reign is not anything new. In the 2004 Presidential election in Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko who was opposed by Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovych was poisoned allegedly during a dinner with security service personnel, which resulted in him having to undergo several surgeries for his life-threatening disability. Anna Politkovskaya, a human rights activist was shot in a lift outside her flat on October 7, 2006. In November 2012, Alexander Perepilichnyy who sought asylum in Britain, was found dead at his residence in London. Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent died in 2006 after drinking a cup of tea at a London hotel that had been laced with deadly polonium-210. In an effort to kill another opposition activist, Vladimir Kara-Murza was poisoned twice, once in 2015 and again in 2017. Sergei Skripal was poisoned in 2018 and Alexei Navalny in 2020. The mystery surrounding Prigozhin's death is also seen in light of this series of enemy killings.

The old way of sustaining the mercenary army used throughout the medieval ages is still supported by large powers that sit at the rooftops of progress. Governments sponsor such private forces to be used for atrocities that surpass the military in brutality. The nation has no obligation to answer for its cruelties. Similarly, the damage caused by this mercenary army will not be included in official records. While 1,60,000 US troops were stationed in Iraq, there were 1,80,000 troops from Blackwater, a private army. They were responsible for the atrocities in Abu Ghraib prison and the indiscriminate shooting and killing of innocents in sight. Similarly, Wagner was a mercenary army deployed by Russia in Syria, Libya and African countries. Their ferocity is helping Russia stand their ground in the war against Ukraine too. Apart from retired soldiers from the Russian army, infamous prisoners recruited from Russian prisons are also a part of this private army. Thus, the government is able to make citizens into soldiers without taking any responsibilities. Using private militias to wage ethnic wars, instigate rebellions, and carry out coups is a safe way to establish dominance. Their actions, which are not held accountable by anyone, can sometimes backfire on each other, like the Putin-Prigozhin dispute. As long as these imperialists continue to thrive by deploying both the official army and secret soldiers, the world will be unable to withdraw from the face of war.

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TAGS:russiaBlackwater guardsVladimir PutinWagner chief Yevgeny PrigozhinMercenary army
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