After Prigozhin: The Beginning of the End of Putin's Regime?
Dr. Christoph Stefes, Professor, Political Science
University of Colorado Denver
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (Mountain)
Online via Zoom:
Click to Register
On June 24, 2023, Y. Prigozhin, head of a large, Russian mercenary group (Wagner), sent thousands of his troops towards Moscow. For months, Prigozhin had scolded the Russian military leadership for undersupplying his troops with weapons and ammunition, undermining their fight in Ukraine. The Wagner troops quickly advanced. Yet, within hours Prigozhin recalled the troops. Putin made a similar U-turn, striking a deal with Prigozhin, a long-time confidant, who he had initially called a traitor.
In his presentation, Christoph H. Stefes, Professor at the Political Science Department of CU-Denver, introduces Prigozhin and the Wagner group, outlines the importance of Wagner for Russia’s autocratic regime, and why Prigozhin challenged Putin, only to end the mutiny within hours. He further applies a model of autocratic (in)stability that he has helped to develop with colleagues at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) to assess the impact that this short-lived mutiny might have on Putin’s regime in the long run. Finally, he analyzes the impact of the mutiny on the war in Ukraine.
Dr. Christoph Stefes
Prof. Stefes was born and raised in West Germany. He received his BA in History and German Literature at the University of Tübingen, Germany, studied European Integration and International Relations in Groningen, The Netherlands, and received his MA and PhD from the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. In his dissertation, he analyzed structures of corruption in post-Soviet Georgia where he taught and researched in 1998/99. Since 2002, he has been a professor for Comparative European & Post-Soviet Studies at the Political Science Department of the University of Colorado Denver, and has recently been named Affiliated Professor at the School of Public Affairs. In his research and teaching, he focuses on democracy and democratization, stability of dictatorships, corruption, and (more recently) on the politics of energy transitions and environmental crime. He has published numerous books and articles on these issues. He taught in Denver, Sarajevo, Beijing, and Berlin and conducted research in Norway, Germany, Georgia, Armenia, and Uzbekistan. He is the director of “Berlin: Bridging Global Divides”, a study-abroad program that brings about a dozen students each year from Denver to Berlin to attend lectures and conduct internships.
International Executive Roundtables
International Executive Roundtables are hosted by CU Denver’s Institute for International Business (IIB) with support from the Carole Ann Jemal-Gibson and Greg Gibson Fund. CU Denver’s IIB is one of 16 Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) in the United States, a prestigious designation awarded by the US Department of Education.