Flailing Putin struggling to exert power after 'crisis of command' in Russian ranks

July 25, 2023

Vladimir Putin's crackdown on his former allies, supporters, and serving generals is leaving him weakened, experts have said. The Russian leader is reportedly dealing with a central government under strain, with the Wagner failed rebellion having stirred high-profile figures against him. He has exiled his former close ally and Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin to Belarus, where the remnants of his mercenary forces are training local troops. He has also acted against Igor Girkin, the Russian former commander and FSB officer deemed responsible for downing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Experts have argued that working against his own people shows the leader has prioritised his "grip on power", something that will ultimately weaken his standing and, by extension, Russia's.