ARussian mob boss warned civilians of a “change of power” in the country, saying that convicts recruited by the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary outfit, for Vladimir Putin‘s war in Ukraine will eventually wreak havoc in society.
In a video appeal that circulated on social media this month, Grisha Moskovsky spoke out against Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Putin ally and founder of the Wagner Group, and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, saying that they are creating two power groups. He appealed to Russians to be cautious.
“Now two gangs are forming in Russia. Two gangs, one gang is the Wagner’s and the other gang is Kadyrov’s. Now there is a change of power in Russia,” he said. “Who is a scoundrel and who will come to power.”
He continued: “But this will not bring good to Russia and Russians.”
Moskovsky pointed to the fact that the Wagner Group has been recruiting large numbers of prisoners for Putin’s war in Ukraine. The mercenary unit has been recruiting in penal colonies in far-flung regions of Russia, according to Olga Romanova, head of the prisoner advocacy group Russia Behind Bars.
Investigative media outlet Important Stories recently found that Russian prisoners in St. Petersburg are being offered freedom and money if they participate in the war.
Relatives of prisoners serving sentences in the city told the outlet that the Wagner Group is offering 200,000 rubles ($3,500) and an amnesty, for six months of “voluntary” service in the Donbas region—if the prisoners return alive.
Translation of above Tweet: “Here, Russians, you finished your game. Now two gangs have formed in Russia.”
Thief in law Grisha Moskovsky spoke out against the “bastards” and turned to the Russians.”
“Believe me, imagine who the Wagner’s are. All former convicts who were 20, 15,18, 19 years old, who are behind rape, for the spread of murder, and for all kinds of violence,” Moskovsky said. “And now they are free and they want to eat, they want to earn money and want to feel good. And who will they go to? They will go to you, the common Russians.”
Kadyrov, meanwhile, has backed Prigozhin in criticizing how Putin’s war against Ukraine is being handled, appearing to side with each other in rare displays of dissent, suggesting that rifts may be emerging inside the Kremlin.
The United States think tank the Institute for the Study of War also assessed in late October that Prigozhin and his military group could “pose a threat to Putin’s rule.”
Moskovsky urged Russian civilians to speak up and ensure neither Prigozhin nor Kadyrov come into power.
“So while you are silent, in Russia it will be even worse and even worse. So I ask you, for the sake of the common people, go out on the streets and make sure that they do not come to power. If they come to power, there will be trouble throughout Russia.”
He added: “They have nothing to lose, these Wagner’s these Kadyrov’s, they have nothing to lose.”