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Wagner Group Chief Resurfaces after Rebellion Against Putin



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In a surprising development, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the Wagner Group, has made his first public appearance since launching a brief rebellion against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prigozhin posted a 11-minute voice recording on social media, shedding light on the motivations behind the mutiny and its aftermath.

Prigozhin clarified that the march towards Moscow was intended as a protest against the prosecution of the war in Ukraine, rather than an attempt to overthrow the Russian regime. He stated, “We started our march due to injustice. We showed no aggression, but we were hit by missiles and helicopters. This was the trigger.”

Prigozhin emphasized that their intention was to demonstrate how events should have unfolded on February 24, 2022, and that they turned back to avoid causing harm to Russian soldiers. He expressed regret for the need to engage Russian aviation.

The dramatic rebellion, where Prigozhin’s private military group took control of Russian military bases and initiated the march, sent shockwaves globally. However, negotiations mediated by Belarus led to a resolution. The Kremlin announced that an agreement had been reached. Prigozhin and his soldiers to receive amnesty and relocate to Belarus, according to reports from Fox News.

Prigozhin’s current whereabouts are currently unknown, and it remains uncertain whether he has made it to Belarus. He clarified that the objective of the march was to protect the existence of the Wagner Group, a private military organization.

Prigozhin had been publicly criticizing top Russian military leaders, prior to the rebellion against the Kremlin. One of the top officials he criticized is Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, using explicit language.

The feud between Prigozhin and the military brass can be traced back to the Russian military intervention in Syria. Tensions have escalated metiorically in recent months during the fight for Bakhmut.

This rebellion marks one of the most significant challenges to Putin’s leadership in over two decades. While Prigozhin’s voice recording provides some insight into the events, questions about his current situation and the long-term implications of the mutiny remain unanswered.

The resolution and amnesty granted to Prigozhin and his soldiers by Belarus have added a new dimension to this extraordinary turn of events. The impact of this rebellion on Russia’s political landscape and the future of the Wagner Group will undoubtedly be closely monitored in the days to come.

Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!

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Columbia alumni are also anti-Israel, threaten to withhold $77 million in donations



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2,000 people claiming to be Columbia University alumni have signed a letter pledging to “withhold all financial, programmatic, and academic support” from the institution until it meets the demands of anti-Israel protesters. The result is $77 million in donations is at risk.

National Review reports that the letter, addressed to Columbia president Minouche Shafik and the school’s trustees, expresses support for the protesters who oppose the university’s “continued collaboration with the Israeli government’s ongoing genocidal violence against Palestinians.”

“The movement for Palestinian liberation, on campus and globally, is often led by Jewish people of many nations,” the letter says. “Weaponizing claims about antisemitism to silence student speech is based on faulty logic, harms Jewish students, and distracts from true antisemitism, including the attempts by a craven American right to tokenize, exploit, and appropriate Jewish trauma and resilience.”

There does not appear to be a process to verify that people who sign the letters are, in fact, Columbia alumni. It allows people to sign anonymously.

The letter condemns the “administration’s brutal repression of student speech and assembly,” specifically president Shafik’s decision to call in the New York Police Department Strategic Response Group on protesters. Hundreds of anti-Israel protesters were arrested at Columbia and at the City College of New York on April 30, including some who barricaded themselves inside a campus admissions building.

Signatories of the letter are pledging to withhold donations until the university meets 13 demands, including: that it divests from companies that “fund or profit from Israeli apartheid, genocide, and occupation of Palestine”; calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war; removes Shafik as president; bans the NYPD from campus; and drops charges against student activists, reverses disciplinary measures against them, and finances the healthcare for students who were “brutalized” by the police.

The website where the letter is shared claims that the signatories have previously provided over $67 million in financial contributions to Columbia, and that over $77 million in donations are now at risk.

The letter also claims that the university “failed to hold accountable the former Israeli soldiers who carried out a chemical attack on protesting students in January 2024.” That seems to be a reference to an incident involving anti-Israel protesters who told the student-run Columbia Spectator that during a demonstration earlier this year they were sprayed with “skunk,” a chemical developed by the Israeli Defense Forces.

While this letter is from supporters of the anti-Israel protesters, Columbia has also received pushback from opponents who say the school is allowing protesters to break the law, disrupt the educational environment, and harass Jewish students, adds National Review.

On Monday, 13 federal judges sent a letter to Columbia leaders saying they will no longer hire the school’s students as clerks due to their behavior and the school’s mismanagement of anti-Israel protests, writing that “Columbia has disqualified itself from educating the future leaders of our country.”

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a Columbia alumnus, said in April that he would withhold donations from the university due to the anti-Israel protests.

“I am deeply saddened at the virulent hate that continues to grow on campus and throughout our country,” Kraft said in a statement. “I am no longer confident that Columbia can protect its students and staff and I am not comfortable supporting the university until corrective action is taken.”





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