“When you strike at a king, you must kill him” / Yevgenia Albats

Jun 27, 2023

Yevgenia Albats, a journalist in forced exile from Russia, thinks that Prigozhin is a “dead man walking.” Maybe Putin, too.

A few days ago the world watched in amazement as Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the infamous paramilitary Wagner Group, turned his ambition from defeating Ukraine to challenging the Russian army and—although he continues to deny it—Vladimir Putin himself.  Wagner’s fighters seized some Russian territory and rapidly advanced towards Moscow, before abruptly halting, accepting a deal negotiated by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, and standing down.

Details are still in short supply, but it’s hard to imagine that this brief insurrection won’t have consequences for the war on Ukraine, for Russia’s relations with its few allies, and—most importantly—on Putin’s future.

Yevgenia Albats, Distinguished Journalist in Residence at NYU’s Jordan Center in forced exile from Russia, thinks that Prigozhin is a “dead man walking.”  Maybe Putin, too?

Do you think this is the beginning of the end for the Russian dictator? TELL US WHAT YOU THINK BY COMMENTING BELOW

Listen to the episode here or find the New Thinking for a New World podcast on a platform of your choice (Apple podcastSpotifyStitcherGoogle podcastYoutube, etc).


Yevgenia M. Albats is a Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, author, and radio host. She has been a non resident Senior Fellow, Davis Center for Russian & Eurasia Studies, Harvard University, since 2020.

Since 2007 she has been the Political Editor and then Editor-in-Chief and CEO of The New Times, a Moscow-based, Russian language independent political weekly. Since 2004, Albats has hosted Absolute Albats, a talk-show on Echo Moskvy, which was the only remaining liberal radio station in Russia until recently. Both The New Times and Echo Moskvy have been blocked by the Russian government in the last weeks. Yevgenia now works only on a virtual private network and her show has been moved to her YouTube channel.

Albats received the Golden Pen Award in 1989, the highest journalism honor in the then-Soviet Union. She was an Alfred Friendly Press Fellow assigned to the Chicago Tribune in 1990, and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1993. She graduated from Moscow State University in 1980 and received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University in 2004. She is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) since its founding in 1996. Albats taught at Yale in 2003-2004. She was a full-time professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, teaching the institutional theory of the state and bureaucracy, until 2011 when her courses were canceled at the request of top Kremlin officials.

In 2017 Albats was chosen as an inaugural fellow at Kelly’s Writers House and Perry House at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2019 — 2020 she taught authoritarian politics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Albats is the author of 4 books, including The State Within A State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia. Past, Present and Future (Germany 1991, Russia 1992, United States and other countries 1994-1995).



  1. AHMED Fathy Mohamed ELSAYED

    political governance changing historically

    1. The methods and tools of political governance have undergone a major change throughout history

    And what used to be the domination of the past.. is no longer fit to be repeated at the same pace in a multipolar era.
    It is governed by multiple balances of power and intertwined interests

    2. There is no longer a purely bilateral conflict, in isolation from international interests and balances
    and its interventions

    3. It is no longer possible to deliver a decisive fatal blow in a duel clash like in the past!
    Except for a military intervention that has major consequences

    4. The political system in Russia is suffering from the difficulties of a major war crisis

    This is what made the anticipation of a military coup against Putin .. it will not happen
    Because of the nature of the military calculations that wish but are afraid of falling

    4. The commander of the Wagner Group is part of the military organization of Russia

    And his apostasy against the regime was an objection to the method of managing conflict and war in Ukraine
    And continuous internal obstacles that have not been answered

    And not greedy
    And quickly retreated from the attempt to rebound on the system

    5. Europe’s management of the war politically caused repercussions and development of military operations
    And major economic losses to Europe and Ukraine
    As a result of the attrition of war and reconstruction

    From just Russian crowds on the borders of Europe
    Waiting for a full three weeks!!

    Until the political conflict developed into action, a military invasion, and field control over entire parts of Ukraine

    6. The naivety of waiting for the opponent to self-defeat
    Or a knockout victory.

    Not possible with an opponent and a country that still has a balance of power!

    7. The long-term nature of wars of economic attrition
    It does not achieve a real change in the nature of the political system

    It also has opposite overlaps, which may develop into defeating the other party

    In the case of that it took place at a successive pace.. and the dismantling of solid alliances and the loss of the sources of power for the other party

  2. Kees Rietveld

    Lukashenko plays in Putin’s team. He owes him.

    Prigozhin just gave up control over the Wagner group, his private army.

    The weak spot in the Russian offensive in the Ukraine always was that Wagner was controlled by Prigozhin and that he could do with it what he wanted.

    His mind, was the weak spot. It seems that Western Intelligence has got to his mind. Clever game, well executed. Some falls flags and probably someone whispering in his ear.

    From a Russian perspective the presence of a private army on Russian territory always would have been unacceptable. It would have either to integrate into the Russian army structure or disband. From a Russian perspective the option always was capital punishment for mutiny or disbanding.

    Interesting is what deal Prigozhin negotiated. I would stay away from windows anyway if I were him.

    Once Prigozhin and Putin were close. In the next weeks the deal will become clearer. There might still be some truth in the rumour that it all was a convoluted way to get rid of Shoigu and Gerasimov.

    Funny coincidence to have a coup attempt with a concomitant Nato exercise.

    For now important thing is, Putin still sits where he sits. Wagner is back in Ukraine being integrated in the regular army and Prigozhin is under control of a trusted man without a private army to protect him.

    Game and set, and probably match.

    Kees Rietveld

  3. sophie Crawford

    What I can say about this, of how to Sustained if going to the long war and to save the Innocents children mostly girls and womens in the war. In order to building more peace, before its too late. And save the world.

  4. Rev H. L. Oni

    The west should stop inciting the masses by using the media and. multi national assets against Putin.
    Because the west is the worst thing at the gates of nations.
    If a fox wants to fall it goes into a deep ditch on a snowy day


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