Russia’s shadow army boss has taken aim at unnamed figures in the country’s presidential administration in a violent rant about traitors, YouTube, and punishment by “sledgehammer.”
Yevgeny Prigozhin’s latest comments appear to be his most direct threats yet in a feud that has been simmering for months as the mercenary boss and proxy enforcer tests the patience of the country’s highest ranking officials.
Bizarrely, his outburst was sparked by a seemingly innocuous question about why prosecutors have not yet followed up on his request and blocked YouTube throughout the country.
Calling the video-sharing service the “information plague of our time,” Prigozhin claimed the “main reason” the site hasn’t yet been shut down is because of “a huge number of people on Staraya Square in the presidential administration” who “think about only one thing—the sooner Russia loses the war, the sooner the Americans will come and regulate us.”
“Because when we fall to our knees before Uncle Sam, he will forgive us for all sins: for supporting pro-Russian interests, for supporting Putin, and for the fact that we generally live on this earth. Lord, this won’t happen. Take note, it is not enough to humiliate yourself in front of the Americans. You have to do it in a way that makes them happy. But this will never happen. They won’t take you in. And then you will come to us, where Wagner’s sledgehammer will already be waiting for you,” he said through his press service.
Prigozhin also used the opportunity to rage against “the bastards” who he claimed “pretend to participate” in the war against Ukraine but actively work against it and “move their relatives abroad,” apparently referring to high-ranking officials.
“Those who actively use YouTube will be identified and will suffer a well-deserved punishment after it is banned,” he said.
His rant appeared to shock even some pro-Kremlin pundits.
“Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin is out of control,” wrote propagandist Sergei Mardan, noting that compared to Prigozhin, Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny seems like a “puppy…