After the failed rebellion of Wagner, a Russian media group affiliated with the head of the group ends its work

A website manager for the Yevgeny Prigozhin Media Group said the group would wind down its operations, highlighting Prigozhin’s deteriorating conditions a week after the group’s brief insurrection failed.

Under a deal that ended the insurgency, Russia allowed Prigozhin, a former ally of President Vladimir Putin, to live in exile in Belarus, giving his men options to join him, integrate into the Russian armed forces or go home.

The “Patriot Media” group – one of the most prominent windows of which was the “Ria Fan” news site – pursued a strongly pro-Kremlin nationalist editorial policy, while also providing positive coverage to Prigozhin and his Wagner Group.

“I announce our decision to close and leave the country’s media arena,” Yevgeny Zubarev, director of the “Ria Fan” website, said in a video posted late Saturday on the group’s social media accounts. Zubarev gave no reason for this decision.

Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday that Russia’s communications monitoring agency had blocked media linked to Prigozhin, but did not elaborate. The watchdog could not be reached on Sunday for comment.

Russian media also reported that Moscow had dissolved a social media influencer group allegedly used by Prigozhin to influence public opinion in foreign countries, including the United States.

In the video, Zubarev praised Patriot Media’s record and said it had defended Prigozhin and Putin against criticism from opponents of the Kremlin, such as imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny.

He said that the “Patriot Media” group worked “against Alexei Navalny and other representatives of the opposition who tried very hard to destroy our country.”

Despite the failed rebellion, the Russian authorities have not officially banned the Wagner Group, but Putin said on Tuesday that the authorities would investigate Prigozhin’s financial affairs.

He added that Wagner and its founder received nearly two billion dollars from Russia last year.

Wagner’s men have fought some of the bloodiest battles of the 16-month-old war in Ukraine, including thousands of ex-prisoners recruited from Russian jails.

Under Prigozhin’s leadership, the group has grown into a broadly international corporation with mining interests and militants in Africa and the Middle East.

The group was established in 2014 after Russia annexed the Ukrainian Crimea peninsula, and began supporting pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

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