The attack came days after a pro-Kremlin journalist posted several photos of what was allegedly a secret base and wrote on his social media: “I have arrived in Popasna. Went to Wagner’s headquarters. They welcomed me like family and told me some funny stories.”
In addition, the Russian reporter posted a few photos revealing the exact location of the base.
In one of them, Russian mercenaries were seen posing next to a building with broken windows. In the left corner of the frame, the exact address was visible on a plaque next to the front door.
Another picture showed Prigozhin shaking hands with a uniformed man.
Several Russian die-hard pro-war advocates yesterday voiced their outrage at the Russian state television reporter who was careless enough to post images that would make it easier to locate the base.
“It is sad that this missile attack, which the enemy was able to launch thanks to a thoughtless publication of the current military positions, was not the first time: there is a long list that I can already publish”, Voenny Osvedomitel, one of the most popular pro- Kremlin Telegram channels said.
The startling security flaw has some of Russia’s most respected open-source investigators wondering if this was part of Prigozhin’s elaborate ruse.
“When these photos first appeared and we discussed them at a planning meeting, I said they look too staged… like the Russians were trying to invite a strike at that location,” said Ruslan Leviev, head of the Conflict Intelligence Team.
“Knowing how much Prigozhin likes trolling and how much money he is willing to spend on it, I still have my doubts that this really happened.”
Leviev hinted that Prigozhin may have been trying to get the Ukrainian army to hit the base so that it would have missile defenses ready to shoot down the US-supplied Himars missiles.
Unofficial reports claimed that the Kremlin was so shocked by Himar’s firepower that it promised its soldiers the Hero of Russia medal, Russia’s most coveted military decoration, for shooting down a Himar launcher.
Get a note directly from our foreign country correspondents about what makes headlines around the world. Sign up for the weekly What in the World newsletter here.
https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/ukrainian-rockets-take-out-secret-wagner-hq-after-russian-tv-blunder-20220816-p5ba3p.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Ukrainian missiles destroy secret Wagner HQ after Russian TV ‘mistake’