Russian blogger says he was once fired over interview with mercenary boss

RIGA, Latvia — A professional-Kremlin political operative and blogger claimed Thursday that he was once fired from a web-based media corporate after he revealed an interview by which the pinnacle of the Wagner mercenary staff warned of a possible revolution in Russia and stated Moscow’s struggle in Ukraine had backfired.

The blogger, Konstantin Dolgov, labored for the Telega Online video venture, which live-streams discussions of reports and politics with a pro-Russian slant on RuTube, a web-based video-hosting website online. The Russian govt tries to advertise the website online as a substitute for what it considers “unfriendly” YouTube. YouTube is among the few Western web products and services nonetheless to be had within the nation.

On Tuesday, Dolgov posted a long interview with the mercenary boss Yevgeniy Prigozhin on Dolgov’s Telegram channel. Prigozhin delivered a harsher-than-usual tirade about Russia’s disasters within the struggle, together with describing best commanders of the common army as incompetent.

Prigozhin additionally decried the detachment of Russia’s rich elite, accusing them of now not being sufficiently dedicated to President Vladimir Putin’s brutal onslaught in Ukraine. He stated that anger towards the rich may just boil over into a well-liked rebellion corresponding to the Russian Revolution of 1917.

The interview was once broadly observed as Prigozhin’s try to use his contemporary victory in seizing the jap Ukrainian town of Bakhmut, the place his mercenaries served as a a very powerful combating power, to extend his home status. He has been locked in a sour non-public struggle with the common military chiefs, together with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Dolgov posted a video at the Telega Online weblog announcing he were fired over the interview. The clip, on the other hand, was once temporarily deleted from the channel.

“The interview came out late Tuesday evening, and early Wednesday morning, I was told that I was fired,” Dolgov wrote on his weblog. “Whoever made the call was likely upset by Prigozhin’s statements, but they couldn’t do anything to him, so they decided to take it out on the interviewer and fire [me] from everywhere.”

Dolgov claimed that the Telega Online venture was once backed via the Internet Development Institute, or IRI, a Kremlin venture that produces on-line propaganda and states its project as “aiding the dialogue between industry, the state and society.”

IRI is administered via Alexei Goreslavky, a pro-Kremlin journalist and media supervisor who is understood for dismantling a broadly influential unbiased on-line website online, lenta.ruin 2014. That transfer was once a precursor of the Kremlin’s broader crackdown on media that via 2023 left the rustic with nearly no unbiased retailers broadly to be had to abnormal Russians.

IRI didn’t remark at the state of affairs with Prigozhin or declare possession of the venture, however Dolgov has attended IRI-organized occasions and award presentations.

Dolgov, in his commentary, asserted that there’s “free speech in Russia, thank god and the president.”

“I don’t think that Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] will be happy to learn that the anchor of Telega Online was fired over an interview with … the Hero of the Russian Federation,” Dolgov stated, relating to Prigozhin’s state-awarded medal for his contribution to the struggle in Ukraine.

Dolgov’s employer denied that he were pushed aside, announcing he had deliberate to go away “long before the interview with Prigozhin.”

“We take into account that hype all the time hits the target market higher than any balanced place … however the ‘dismissal’ of our revered Konstantin [Dolgov] was once under no circumstances as spontaneous as he claims,” ​​Telega Online said in a statement. It accused Dolgov of self-promotion at the expense of the video show. Dolgov called that statement a lie.

The internal feud sheds light on a broader battle Prigozhin and media outlets friendly to him are waging as he finds himself in competition with the Russian Defense Ministry over influence and role in the Ukraine war. Prigozhin has repeatedly complained that federal-controlled television channels have stopped covering him and the Wagner Group, a departure from fawning reports broadcast last year praising the mercenaries’ military prowess.

Prigozhin warned towards any person who would possibly attempt to silence him.

“I can, after all, fortify Dolgov, however attempt to close me up, and we will be able to see the way you arrange to do it,” Prigozhin said in an audio recording shared by his press service on Thursday. “You are idiots if you think you are doing a service to the authorities. You are actually doing them a disservice. There is a war going on, and you should be thinking about how to save the country.

He added, “So the degenerates who personal this Telegram channel, you are going to burn in hell.”

One yr of Russia’s struggle in Ukraine

Portraits of Ukraine: Every Ukrainian’s life has changed since Russia launched its full-scale invasion one year ago — in ways both big and small. They have learned to survive and support each other below excessive casesin bomb shelters and hospitals, destroyed rental complexes and ruined marketplaces. Scroll thru portraits of Ukrainians reflecting on a yr of loss, resilience and worry,

Battle of attrition: Over the past year, the war has morphed from a multi-front invasion that included Kyiv in the north to a conflict of attrition largely concentrated along an expanse of territory in the east and south. Follow the 600-mile front line between Ukrainian and Russian forces and take a look at where the fighting has been concentrated,

A year of living apart: Russia’s invasion, coupled with Ukraine’s martial law preventing fighting-age men from leaving the country, has forced agonizing decisions for millions of Ukrainian families about the best way to steadiness protection, responsibility and love, with once-entwined lives having grow to be unrecognizable. Here’s what a teach station filled with goodbyes seemed like ultimate yr.

Deepening global divides: President Biden has trumpeted the reinvigorated Western alliance forged during the war as a “world coalition,” but a closer look suggests the world is far from united on issues raised by the Ukraine war, Evidence abounds that the effort to isolate Putin has failed and that sanctions haven’t stopped Russiathanks to its oil and gas exports.

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