CNN Journalist Convinced: One Sentence Broke Prigozhin's Neck
On Tuesday evening, "Maischberger" focused on the Prigozhin uprising from the weekend, examining its implications for Putin and how Ukraine can benefit. Journalist Pleitgen was certain that one sentence from Prigozhin would continue to generate discussion.
It was a tremor in Moscow: the Wagner mercenaries marched towards the capital for 36 hours until Belarusian President Lukashenko temporarily brokered peace. Prigozhin's actions will not be prosecuted, and his troops will be withdrawn from Ukraine.
The Theme on "Maischberger"
Over the weekend, Evgeny Prigozhin, after months of verbal insults, took action: he led his troops from Ukraine towards Moscow, targeting the Russian Defense Minister and Chief of General Staff. This caused temporary chaos.
How weakened is Putin as a result? Can Ukraine capitalize on the momentum? These were the topics discussed on Tuesday's "Maischberger" with her guests.
The Highlight of the Evening on "Maischberger"
The discussion revolved around Prigozhin's criticism and the significance of Wagner. Maischberger showed footage of Prigozhin being celebrated by Russians in Rostov: "He's like the Russian Robin Hood," said Pleitgen. He pointed out things that are very dangerous for Putin, such as the existence of a wealthy elite in Russia whose children do not participate in the war but profit from it.
Pleitgen also mentioned Prigozhin's focus on massive corruption in military procurement and the use of bulletproof vests made of cardboard. "Then he said something that probably broke his neck," Pleitgen added. "He said that there was actually no reason for this war," said the journalist.
The Verbal Duel of the Evening
Maischberger wanted to know if Putin had been tarnished by the uprising. The former German ambassador to Moscow was certain: "Putin is weakened in several respects." He completely miscalculated with his "puppet Prigozhin," was unprepared, and had to seek help from Lukashenko. "If there's one thing you can't show in Russian politics, it's weakness," von Fritsch stated.
Journalist Pleitgen held a different opinion, saying, "I wouldn't say weakened, but Putin has bought himself some time." Although Wagner managed to come relatively close to Moscow, it quickly became clear that none of the people important to Russian politics stood behind Prigozhin. "The convoy wasn't large enough to cause much damage in Moscow," Pleitgen added.
Sandra Maischberger's Performance
Maischberger performed well when analyzing the uprising in Russia. She asked the right questions: "Were you concerned or hopeful?", "Is Putin now weakened?", "How credible is it that Prigozhin didn't want to overthrow the government?", "Would he have made it to Moscow?", and "Are we closer to a negotiated peace?"
However, the interview with Harrison Ford was rather weak, jumping back and forth between Indiana Jones, climate protests, global security, and Trump supporters.
The Outcome on "Maischberger"
Much remains uncertain, and it will take developments in the coming weeks to provide a clearer understanding of how much Putin has been affected. However, the panel agreed that while he may be weakened, he is not finished. Maischberger should have devoted more attention to these questions: "What are security guarantees worth in Russia?", "How should the West respond to the uprising?", and "What comes after Putin?"