Y.P. (Yevgeny Prigozhin) is making the same mistake that another Y.P., Yemelyan Pugachev, made in Russia 250 years ago. He should have gone to Moscow. If Prigozhin stays in Rostov-on-Don, he will be defeated and dispersed in the “provincial city,” and everyone will immediately forget about him like a bad dream.
It is no accident that Putin did not call Prigozhin by his first name in his address and accused him of being a traitor. Prigozhin must very well understand that Putin kills “traitors”. There are many examples of this. It is impossible to keep Prigozhin alive: he knows too much because he has been close to Putin for too long, and he has too much to say. In fact, he should have engaged in this narrative by now, when the attention of the whole country, and even the whole world, is riveted to him. Once Prigozhin is no longer a threat to some and a hope for others, the attention to him will cool down.
Prigozhin is obliged to go to Moscow. This is risky, because he could be destroyed on the approach or already in the capital itself. But if he counts on the support of some security forces and some groups of the army, this is his only chance.
I do not have much faith in Prigozhin’s future. The army in Russia is traditionally a structure without initiative, and there are no people more cowardly than the Russian generals. They think only of shoulder straps, awards, and an honorable retirement with a fat pension. They will not support Prigozhin’s rebellion. But they may indeed not oppose Prigozhin, since it is risky for their lives and they don’t want to go against “their own people”. They are in the habit of sabotaging orders without initiative. The FSB is another matter, where Prigozhin is not tolerated. If Prigozhin can enter Moscow with his “25,000”, the battle will be hot. So they will try to smash him on the approach.
Prigozhin himself, I think, will not be arrested: they will either kill him or pretend that he was killed by “their” people, or declare that he committed suicide.
But Prigozhin must go to Moscow, if only for the sake of leaving a deep trace in the history of modern Russia.