April 14, 2024

Putting the "Coup" in "Cool Statue"


Putting the "Coup" in "Cool Statue"
Of all the people to memorialize... Wagner Group, Telegram.

A new statue in Krasnodar region is dedicated to a pair of fallen military leaders. While that's pretty run-of-the-mill, the appearance of this specific bronze-cast duo is bound to raise eyebrows.

The statue depicts Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitri Utkin, leaders of the Russian private military corporation (PMC) Wagner Group. The pair stand on a plinth in battle gear. The pedestal is marked with their radio callsigns and dog tag numbers.

While Prigozhin and Utkin were (emphasis on "were") part of Russia's War on Ukraine, they were also famously critical of the Russian armed forces. This criticism reached a high point with Wagner's march on Moscow, which fizzled out quickly.

Wagner was subsequently moved out of the front line, disappearing from combat. Shortly after, both Prigozhin and Utkin were conveniently killed in an aircraft crash while en route to Moscow.

The new statue-memorial stands in front of Wagner Group's chapel and was proudly posted on the PMC's Telegram channel, even as Wagner has been somewhat disgraced since their untimely deaths.

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