The end of Wednesday, August 23, 2023, was marked by a highly loud event. The Air Defence Forces of the Russian Federation fired two accurate shots shooting down a business jet carrying the PMC “Wagner” ringleaders Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin. They died.
There is a trait that Vladimir Putin and Aliaksandr Lukashenka have in common: it’s their pathological vindictiveness. Exactly two months passed since the notorious “Prigozhin’s mutiny”, his scandalous march on Moscow that frightened all the Russian enforcers. Then Prigozhin met with Putin, and it looked like they made peace and agreed on what to do next. On his turn, Aliaksandr Lukashenka agreed to accept the PMC “Wagner” in Belarus and gave him security guarantees.
Everyone who knew Prigozhin speak about him as of a cruel and unscrupulous, but a very clever man. It is all the more strange that he believed Putin and Lukashenka when it is well known: they do not keep their word.
We know that the Kremlin has a painful love for symbolism. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the plane with Prigozhin and Utkin was shot down exactly two months after the “mutiny” events, to a day. In hindsight, we can say that the most surprising thing is that Prigozhin got away with it for so long. Very few can believe that it was indeed an accident. A day before his death, it looked like Prigozhin returned to his job and published a video message from Africa. Nevertheless, to all intents and purposes, there was no way back for once powerful leader of mercenaries.
We have no reason to mourn Prigozhin and Utkin nor to feel pity for them: they got what they deserved. However, their deaths showed once again: it is stupid to negotiate and make agreements about personal or political guarantees either with Lukashenka or with Putin. There is a long bloody trail of deceits and betrayals behind them both.
Right now, communications are arriving that the PMC “Wagner” mercenaries are striking their camp in Belarus and getting ready for departure. I really hope it will be true. If it is, the Belarusian land will become a little bit cleaner.