Wagner PMC new leader Anton Elizarov goes missing amid Russian elite power struggles

Anton Elizarov, the newly appointed leader of the Wagner PMC, has reportedly mysteriously disappeared in Russia. He is believed to have been detained, reports the Russian Telegram channel VChK-OGPU, which is believed to be linked to Russia's security services.

Elizarov, known by the callsign "Lotus," took over the Wagner PMC after the previous head, Yevgeny Prigozhin, rebelled against the Kremlin and was eliminated. In recent days, Lotus has not been reachable.

"Our well-informed source alleges that Lotus was detained to investigate the extent of the National Guard leadership's involvement in Prigozhin’s march on Moscow of June 23, 2024," wrote the Russian channel.

It further clarified that the leadership of the Russian National Guard is under scrutiny because of its inaction during the Wagner rebellion.

Amid rumors of Lotus's potential detention, unrest has begun to unfold among the ranks of the mercenaries in the Russian private military company. Russian authorities are attempting to stabilize the situation.

"Former and current 'musicians' (a euphemism for Wagner fighters) are being told that Lotus is alive and well. In reality, Elizarov has vanished entirely and unexpectedly for everyone... The situation eerily echoes the disappearance of Surovikin [former commander of the Russian air forces], with whom they also wanted to have an in-depth chat about some unknown circumstances involving Prigozhin's march on Moscow," reported VChK-OGPU.

The news outlet Forpost suggests that the disappearance of Lotus indicates intense internal strife among Russian elites.

"It seems that Lotus has become a pawn in the power struggle involving the head of the National Guard, the notorious duelist Zolotov, and the Security Council secretary Patrushev. As usual, the fight is over access to the feeding trough. Zolotov wants to become a deputy prime minister and amass maximum power, particularly in the security domain. Patrushev opposes this and is preparing his son for the position of prime minister. Zolotov's opponents decided to use the Wagner Group to accuse him of conspiring with Prigozhin. It is unclear who will win in this clash, but it is certainly going to be interesting. Time to stock up on popcorn," writes Forpost.

  Wagner, War in Ukraine, Russia