Dmitry Rogozin may be in trouble in Russia

Dmitry Rogozin may be in trouble in Russia

Zoom in / Dmitry Rogozin, second from left, operated in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

Dmitry Rogozin/Telegram

Almost five months have passed since Dmitry Rogozin was fired as CEO of Roscosmos, the Russian state space corporation. Later a Russian space officer recognized that Rogozin was removed from this high-ranking post to ease tensions with NASA and other partners of the International Space Station. This worked as international spaceflight relations improved.

Since his dismissal, there has been speculation that Rogozin may take some kind of leadership position in the Russian-occupied regions of eastern Ukraine. However, this has not yet happened, so Rogozin announced himself as the head of the “Tsarski Wolves” volunteer inspection group. Rogozin’s stated purpose is to test and deliver advanced weapons technology needed by Russian troops to win the war.

As part of his efforts, Rogozin posted images and statements in his Telegram account from the Donbas region of Ukraine, on a visit with troops. To look the part — and knowing Rogozin, who is likely to build on his “tough guy” image — Rogozin also posted images of himself dressed as a soldier. However, sometimes Rogozin’s actions look more like cosplay than anything else, and some Russians (as well as prominent former NASA astronauts) took to mocking the Russian politician who was once close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Recently, the Russians have cherry-picked these images of Rogozin because they show him with more expensive equipment than is available to Russian troops. Some of its equipment is actually manufactured in NATO countries, which Russia opposes.

Among Rogozin’s new critics is none other than Yevgeny Prigozhin, a man known as “Putin’s cook” who is one of the most dangerous people in Russia. Prigogine’s profile has risen significantly this year as Putin has turned to him to help stem the tide of the waning war in Ukraine. In this role, Prigozhin practically had carte blanche to operate in Russia and Ukraine.

Prigozhin led an organization called the Wagner Group, which raised mercenary armies to support Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. In doing so, Prigogine mercilessly criticized Russian defense officials who had led the early phases of the war. From the Russian Military General Staff, he said in October“All these bastards should be sent to the front barefoot with only one machine gun.”

Prigozhin now noticed Rogozin’s travels near the front line. Prigozhin said that Rogozin’s actions in Ukraine were clearly being done for public relations purposes, not to aid the Russian military effort. Furthermore, he said, Wagner group soldiers are well trained to identify those wearing NATO uniforms. They are ready to kill any such person on the spot.

Prigozhin also conducted a free trial on the quality of Russian rockets and satellites during Rogozin’s tenure at Roscosmos, which ran from May 2018 to July 2022, and saw several high-profile failures.

Rogozin, at least publicly, has yet to respond to the criticism.

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