Patterico's Pontifications

6/24/2023

Putin Confirms Coup Attempt (UPDATES)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:26 am



Last night word broke that Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner group, had claimed that the Russian military had conducted a missile strike on his troops. He denounced Russian military leadership and said that the Ukraine invasion had been conducted under false pretenses. Reports started to roll in, accompanied by unverified video, that Prigozhin was rolling his forces towards Russia.

Analysts warned observers to be cautious: all we really knew was Prigozhin’s recorded statements. And these people are all liars.

Well, now Putin himself has confirmed that there is a coup attempt in full swing. And he doesn’t seem pleased:

This is a suicide mission, I would think. It’s very hard to imagine this coup attempt being successful. If you don’t think Putin has planned for this sort of thing, you don’t know Putin.

Very interesting. Hard to know what it will mean for Ukraine’s counteroffensive. You might think that facing down a genuine military coup attempt would distract the Russian military, which is bombing its own fuel depots to deny resources to Wagner . . . but it could cause Putin to act desperately to display that all-important “strength.”

For what it’s worth, Putin appears to have left Moscow, as confirmed by government spokesmen denying it:

Updates as they become available.

UPDATE: Start making popcorn:

UPDATE: How long has Prigozhin been planning this?

UPDATE: Looks like a potential mass exodus of elites to St. Petersburg.

UPDATE: The Daily Telegraph (which is conducting a live Twitter Spaces episode of its Ukraine podcast as we speak) reports that Russian helicopters are currently bombing the Wagner convoy:

Russian military helicopters have opened fire on a convoy of rebel mercenaries already more than half way towards Moscow in a lightning advance after seizing a southern city overnight, Reuters has confirmed.

. . . .

A Reuters journalist saw army helicopters open fire at an armed Wagner column that was advancing past the city of Voronezh with troop carriers and at least one tank on a flatbed truck. The city is more than half way along the 680-mile highway from Rostov to Moscow.

Wow.

UPDATE: Zelensky’s statement:

UPDATE: This fellow questions the conclusion (expressed in a tweet linked in this post) about Russia bombing its own fuel depot.

UPDATE: https://twitter.com/Patterico/status/1672606082781577216

UPDATE: https://twitter.com/Patterico/status/1672610831945850880

UPDATE: And just like that … he’s gone. https://twitter.com/faytuks/status/1672658108143812608

179 Responses to “Putin Confirms Coup Attempt (UPDATES)”

  1. UPDATE: Start making popcorn:

    https://twitter.com/ChristopherJM/status/1672578245772947456

    Patterico (01004a)

  2. UPDATE: How long has Prigozhin been planning this?

    https://twitter.com/michaeldweiss/status/1672541393263161344

    Patterico (01004a)

  3. I mean, I overestimated the strength of Russia’s military before the full-scale invasion. Maybe I am overestimating it again. You never know.

    Patterico (01004a)

  4. Prigozhin is not some apparatchik who just woke up one morning and boom, there he was, dictator! He came up the hard way. In the grocery business.

    nk (bb1548)

  5. UPDATE: The Daily Telegraph (which is conducting a live Twitter Spaces episode of its Ukraine podcast as we speak) reports that Russian helicopters are currently bombing the Wagner convoy:

    Russian military helicopters have opened fire on a convoy of rebel mercenaries already more than half way towards Moscow in a lightning advance after seizing a southern city overnight, Reuters has confirmed.

    . . . .

    A Reuters journalist saw army helicopters open fire at an armed Wagner column that was advancing past the city of Voronezh with troop carriers and at least one tank on a flatbed truck. The city is more than half way along the 680-mile highway from Rostov to Moscow.

    Wow.

    Patterico (01004a)

  6. UPDATE: Zelensky’s statement:

    https://twitter.com/ZelenskyyUa/status/1672543858863767552

    Patterico (01004a)

  7. These are interesting and dangerous times. Hopefully Putin can be deposed and we can have legitimate elections. Just hope this doesn’t lead to mass casualties and WMD’s being used.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  8. Fortunately, unlike our elections, we don’t get a vote here. All we can do is watch.

    Patterico (01004a)

  9. UPDATE: This fellow questions the conclusion (expressed in a tweet linked in this post) about Russia bombing its own fuel depot.

    Patterico (01004a)

  10. Hopefully Putin can be deposed and we can have legitimate elections.

    I hope so too, but I am not pleased that Nazis are the enemy of my enemy.

    No clean hands…

    Dmitry Utkin, Russian NEO NAZI literally founded the Russian Wagner Group, named after Adolf Hitler’s favorite German composer Richard Wagner.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 6/5/2023 @ 3:52 pm

    Interesting times indeed.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  11. Yeah, I’d feel better, myself, if it was Francis and the Papal Swiss Guard instead of Prigozhin and Wagner Group.

    nk (bb1548)

  12. Expect to see more and many such subtle and not-so-subtle digs by Putin’s and Trump’s (but I repeat myself) shills as this goes on.

    nk (bb1548)

  13. Re 11, many hard core Kaffolicks would rather it be Opus Dei and the modern equivalent of Fr. Coughlan marching TOWARD Pope Francis.

    urbanleftbehind (471693)

  14. Just seems like Wagner is marching straight into Moscow without opposition. Nobody has been stopping them. Just bizarre.

    Patterico (01004a)

  15. The Russian army and police are led by Communist bureaucrats who do nothing without orders. I doubt anyone is giving coherent orders.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  16. This could change but, for now, Russia’s allies may not be willing to help Putin:

    https://twitter.com/HenryJFoy/status/1672555961981050880

    DRJ (fd3827)

  17. This seems like more than Wagner and Prigozhin.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  18. This seems like more than Wagner and Prigozhin.

    I think so too, DRJ. A junta composed of politicians, bureaucrats, military and police leaders, financiers, businessmen, and even churchmen, with Prigozhin as the “strong man” and not necessarily even the senior strong man.

    If tradition is followed, Putin will fly to Switzerland with an adequate portion of the national treasury, and they will form a temporary government and schedule elections for a new president. Or they could end up hanging from meat hooks with piano wire nooses around their necks in the basement of Lubyanka.

    nk (49ddf5)

  19. Putin is talking to neighboring leaders. I assume he is asking for aid/troops. Or he could be lining up passage to a safe asylum.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  20. Russia is focusing on the Neo Nazi threat presented by the Wagner Group. Neo Naziism was the excuse to invade Ukraine, so this fits with that narrative and may resonate with everyday Russians.

    But the Wagner Group acts for Russia in several African countries. Russians must know that. If Putin succeeds in stopping this, it will impact Russian influence throughout that region.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  21. One of the reasons Russian leaders have always demanded no action without orders is to keep the military under their control. It works until it doesn’t.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  22. Russian leaders wanted the military to be loyal to them, not the country.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  23. I always worry about a KGB misdirection play by Putin. Rally the troops by shutting down an insurrection. This doesn’t feel like that. This is…or was…Putin’s boy. One can appreciate Prigozhin’s disgust with the current meat grinder madness. He is a hard-core nationalist and likely has a broad coalition of support. Does Putin have a play other than running? I guess we’ll see. If it’s authentic, it’s good to see Putin getting squeezed. It’s probably not great to have mercenary nationalists leading the charge, but at minimum this gives Ukraine a clear tactical advantage in the moment.

    AJ_Liberty (235ad8)

  24. I think Progozhin is a mercenary. He was loyal to Putin as long as Putin paid him the most. That may no longer be true.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  25. Sorry. Prigozhin.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  26. Timothy Snyder said to watch for Belarus in the next few days. Something is allegedly happening:

    Belarusian president held talks with Prigozhin today. Lukashenko says that Prigozhin has agreed to “stop the movement of armed persons on the territory of Russia and to take further steps to deescalate”

    I don’t know that I buy this. What could Lukashenko possibly offer Prigozhin? It would have to be enough to protect Prigozhin and his men from Putin.

    Dana (560c99)

  27. Or they could end up hanging from meat hooks with piano wire nooses around their necks in the basement of Lubyanka.

    I’d think it would be more like heads, pikes and the Kremlin Wall.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  28. This could change but, for now, Russia’s allies may not be willing to help Putin

    Money could fix that. These people are all venal assh0les.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  29. If Putin succeeds in stopping this, it will impact Russian influence throughout that region.

    Why? They’re mercenaries.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  30. What could Lukashenko possibly offer Prigozhin?

    That Putin has agreed to step down? I don’t think Prigozhin wants to be President.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  31. Am I wrong for wanting everyone to step back and let them fight?

    whembly (898840)

  32. Russia outsourced to the Wagner Group in Africa, Syria and parts of Ukraine, Kevin. It will be hard to continue that relationship if Prigozhin is still in charge.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  33. There seems to be confusion on whether Prigozhin has actually agreed to stop his march to Moscow. Julia Davis posts that Russian state media is making that claim. However, there are claims that Prigozhin turned down Belarus offers, and instead is waiting for reinforcements. (I have no idea how accurate the latter claim is, but it would seem to make more sense. There is zero hope of Prigozhin staying alive if he throws in the towel now, it would seem. Whether poison, being shot or pushed out a window, his days are clearly numbered.)

    Dana (560c99)

  34. We know Putin talked to the Belarus President and it was reported that Prigozhin had talked to him, too. Some kind of deal was made. It could just be more money for Prigozhin.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  35. But, as Dana notes, it is hard to believe Prigozhin would decide to back off at this point. He is a marked man as long as Putin is in power.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  36. Apparently, there is an audio message from Prigozhin on Wagner’s Telegraph channel saying that they are indeed headed for field camps and standing down. Interestingly, Belarus media reports that “a profitable and acceptable option has been developed for solving the situation, with security guarantees for the Wagner PMC fighters.”

    Dana (560c99)

  37. Joy, at the thought that the tyrant may soon be overthrown. If the Wagner advance has stopped, could it be because allies or accomplices in the Russian military have assured they will deal with the Putin problem? Who knows, probably we can expect flux and uncertainty for the next few days.

    Joy is tempered by uncertainty, even if Putin goes, his successors may be worse. But those concerns can be considered soon enough, for now let’s hope that soon all references to Putin will have the word “former” in them.

    RL formerly in Glendale (7a2d64)

  38. @35:

    I don’t see your point, DRJ.

    If Prigozhin is NOT still in charge, then, as I said, they remain mercenaries. They are not there out of a sense of service. Putin may have to find a suitable replacement, but they really don’t want to be in Syria, etc, without being paid.

    If he IS still in charge, then he’s made a deal with Putin, or received considerable concessions (e.g. Defense Minister) in return for a better command of the troops in Ukraine.

    Since his forces rely on being paid, a Prigozhin without $tate $upport won’t hold onto his troops for long.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  39. Ploy to sniff out disloyalty? Awfully quick stand down order. Maybe a move to give Prigozhin more military authority? Nothing that comes out of Russia smells honest.

    AJ_Liberty (235ad8)

  40. He is a marked man as long as Putin is in power.

    Molon labe.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  41. If this is so, the relationship between Moscow and Wagner is over. Wagner fighters living in Moscow were already rounded up and arrested, does this mean they too will be released? Doubtful. Does Belarus provide cover for PMC fighters to evacuate Ukraine? It’s also doubtful that Wagner continues to battle in Ukraine. Wouldn’t Russian troops be told to take them out after behaving so traitorously? So, where does that leave the war in Ukraine? This is a complicated situation. A war within a war, so to speak.

    Dana (560c99)

  42. There is not an infinite supply of reliable and effective mercenary groups available to Russia given the level of corruption in Russian society. Prigozhin and the Wagner Group were, in general, reliable and effective.

    There may be other groups. There may be other Prigozhins. But they aren’t obvious.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  43. I think that Prigozhin has made a clear demonstration that the Defense Ministry is indeed incompetent. His other message — that Putin was lied to by the the Defense and Intelligence branches about the “short victorious war” — gives Putin an out. He can announce a withdrawal from Eastern Ukraine (holding Crimea) and start executing generals and spooks as he places blame.

    This would likely insulate Prigozhin from retaliation as the hero who exposed the conspiracy of lies (and gave Putin a face-saving way to end this losing war).

    Or maybe, he convinced Putin he can win the war if only he is in charge.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  44. The only way this shakes out easily is if Putin leaves, but that doesn’t seem likely. If Prigozhin stands down and Putin stays in power, instead of fighting on the streets, the purges will start.

    On the plus side, my dictionary learned to spell Prigozhin.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  45. The problem is, Wagner pumps out propaganda and lies as easily as the Kremlin. Both entities trade in lies and corruption, so it’s difficult to know the actual truth of the matter. Time will tell.

    In the meantime, I have the same question:

    New reports claim that Wagner boss turns troops back from Moscow. This doesn’t make any sense to me. Putin ordered Prighozin killed earlier today. How does he walk that back? How does Prighozin survive after this? Putin never forgives nor forgets

    It doesn’t make sense.

    Dana (560c99)

  46. I was hoping for a long civil war, but it sounds like Prigozhin is standing down. Putin and Prigozhin are both gangsters, so I was rooting for chaos and dissension in Russia.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  47. @44:

    Then why did Prigozhin quit if his future is painful execution? They talked, he got something important. Wheels within wheels.

    We will know in a few days as significant changes happen, even if it’s just an ice pick.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  48. Putin and Prigozhin are both gangsters

    Exactly. And they both have things they want, some of which the other has.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  49. On the plus side, my dictionary learned to spell Prigozhin.

    I (and thousands of others) am unhappy with having to learn it myself.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  50. Rumors on Russian telegram that “in exchange for Prigozhin pulling back his forces, Russia’s defence minister Shoigu and chief of the general staff Gerasimov will be removed,” as well as “the criminal case against Prigozhin will be dropped and PMC Wagner fighters will receive legal immunity.”

    Certainly, if true, Prigozhin wouldn’t be foolish enough to believe that he wouldn’t be targeted for assassination even if the criminal case is dropped.

    Criminals like Putin and Prigozhin understand how this works.

    Dana (560c99)

  51. They talked, he got something important.

    The most important thing would be that he wouldn’t be killed by the Kremlin at some point in time. How/why on earth would he ever buy such an assurance? He’s as much a criminal as Putin, and he knows how this works.

    Dana (560c99)

  52. Biden is now en route to Camp David. Accompanying him is Jake Sullivan, his national security adviser, who doesn’t usually draw weekend duty at Camp David.

    https://www.nytimes.com/live/2023/06/24/world/russia-ukraine-news/29f0f8f3-afdd-59b5-a1ad-77588ee9f3dc?smid=url-share

    At least it’s not Mount Weather.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  53. The most important thing would be that he wouldn’t be killed by the Kremlin at some point in time

    So, the most important thing is worthless? Not sure I follow.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  54. Someone tweeted that the tally so far was seven Russian jets and choppers shot down…by Russians.

    Prigozhin not only resisted Shoigu’s attempt to nationalize the Wagner Group, Putin’s Chef keep his private army under his control and is now only made stronger. It’s possible that Prigozhin’s forces are more lethal than what the Russian army has, given how easily he drove up the M4 and threatened Moscow (I think they end up less than a hundred miles away from the Kremlin).

    If Putin doesn’t have a competent army to protect himself and the Kremlin, then I wonder who’s actually in charge of Russia, because Prigozhin can turn his insurrection back on with a phone call.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  55. Also, the statement that Prigozhin read on Wagner’s channel said that “realizing all the responsibility for the fact that Russian blood will be shed on one of the sides,” made him stop the march sounds like something a man with a conscience would say. I don’t believe Prigozhin is that man. He is an amoral and violent tyrant whose goals are to make money and consolidate power, seemingly not turning around because he is concerned about Russian blood being spilled. There is def something more going on.

    Dana (560c99)

  56. Rumors on Russian telegram that “in exchange for Prigozhin pulling back his forces, Russia’s defence minister Shoigu and chief of the general staff Gerasimov will be removed,” as well as “the criminal case against Prigozhin will be dropped and PMC Wagner fighters will receive legal immunity.

    Maybe, but not until the Ukraine War is over. And I think that Prigozhin is loyal to his troops (at least those who aren’t prison dragoons). Putin cannot be happy with the people who have run this war, and he needs to either clean house or get off the pot.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  57. Dana, while I too doubt that Prigozhin has a conscience, he cannot lead something like Wagner without strong support from the troops. They won’t give that to an ass-covering bureaucrat. He’s quite a bit more than that.

    That doesn’t make his character much better, but his perfidy is limited when one gets to Wagner. It is in his self-interest to defend them.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  58. Popcorn Futures down.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  59. We’ll see, Kevin.

    Dana (560c99)

  60. Another way to think about it is that a group of mercenaries embarrassed the Russian Army, and they not only get to stay intact, Putin has no control over them as they answer to Prigozhin. The Putin is now a weaker figure today than he was 48 hours ago, and he has to feel humiliated by what took place.

    The good news is that his Wagner soldiers left Ukraine and are in Russia for their putsch, and there’s word that Ukraine is attacking on multiple fronts (can’t find the damn link).

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  61. Again, this is the same Putin that bombed Russians in 3 cities in 1999 as a prelude to the 2nd Chechen war. Anything coming out of Russia is propaganda until Putin is strung up.

    It just seems like more of a play to shake things up in the defense hierarchy. I would like to be wrong and believe that this is evidence of cracking. I mean, let’s hope, but these guys are thick as thieves (well, and thieves). Barking but not a lot of biting.

    AJ_Liberty (235ad8)

  62. We Amweicans are blessed to have a system and society that limits many risks that people face in other parts of the world. Russians live with risk. Money is the answer for most of them.

    DRJ (2dc07c)

  63. Wow this is all very weird.

    Patterico (01004a)

  64. Wow this is all very weird.

    Browder says whenever it doesn’t make sense on the surface, it means we just don’t have all the information. I think he’s right. When dealing with the Kremlin and Wagner, there are going to be lies upon lies and endless propaganda to wade through. We now have Gerashenko posting a former supporter of Prighozhin and what is alleged to be the agreement made to have Wagner back off:

    “Now it’s finally allowed to say the three things he’s been promised. 1. Shoigu’s resignation. 2. Amnesty for “musicians” [Wagner mercenaries]. 3. The possibility to return to Africa. I’m sure that in reality he signed his own death sentence. And Wagner PMC as well, of course.”

    In general, many “Wagner war correspondents” are extremely disappointed with the situation.

    Some publicly resign. And curse Prigozhin.

    It just doesn’t seem like someone as hard and experienced as Prighozon would agree to this. He knows he’s a dead man.

    Dana (560c99)

  65. Meh…Prigozhin

    Dana (560c99)

  66. What happens if they kill Prigozhin and threaten his mercenaries? Men like that don’t just walk into the Gulags. If they have loyalty to Prigozhen, they may decide they have no way out other than toppling the regime. Could they do that? The Russian military shows very little quality, except for quantity, and not all that much quantity either.

    A last-gasp operation against Putin would doom their war in Ukraine, and possible (however unlikely) chance they could doom Putin (most likely at the hands of Putin’s allies).

    I’m reminded of the “Ballad of Jacques Chretien” from Gordon Dickson’s “Brothers.”

    They little knew of brotherhood,
    The faith of fighting men,
    Who once to prove their lie was good,
    Hanged Colonel Jacques Chrétien.

    One-fourth of Rochmont’s fighting strength,
    One battalion of Dorsai,
    Was sent by Rochmont forth alone,
    To bleed Helmuth and die.

    But look, look down from Rochmont’s heights,
    Upon the Helmuth plain,
    At all of Helmuth’s armored force,
    By Dorsai checked or slain.

    Look down, look down, on Rochmont’s shame,
    To hide the wrong she’d done,
    Made claim that Helmuth bribed Dorsai,
    No battle had been won.

    To prove that lie, the Rochmont lords,
    Arrested Jacques Chrétien,
    On charge he dealt with Helmuth’s chiefs,
    For payment to his men….

    Bright, bright the sun that morning rose,
    Upon each weaponed wall,
    But when the sun set in the west,
    Those walls were leveled all.

    Then soft and white the moon arose,
    On streets and roofs unstained,
    But when that moon was down once more,
    No street or roof remained.

    No more is there a Rochmont town,
    No more are Rochmont’s men.
    But stands a Dorsai monument,
    To Colonel Jacques Chrétien.

    Of course, Wagner is not Dorsai, but pissing off a lot of VERY GOOD fighters is not a great idea.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  67. We know the Prigozhin’s mutiny (however abbreviated it may have been) certainly and ability to get as close to Moscow as he did exposed the cracks and weaknesses of Putin’s leadership. But now that Prigozhin has retreated, Putin might be able to capitalize on this and at least appear to be back in control.

    A question I have: If Prigozhin lives in Belarus, as reported, what happens with the Wagner fighters in Ukraine? Don’t they become targets by Not just Ukraine but also Russian fighters?

    Dana (560c99)

  68. Meanwhile, as Moscow is distracted, Ukraine has launched several assaults in the area of Bakhmut. So all of this could help Ukraine.

    We don’t know if Russia will stand united in Ukraine.

    Dana (560c99)

  69. From olexander scherba on twitter via the Russsian media monitor twitter page:

    In his latest audio message, Prigozhin casually says “When we worked in Africa and Ukraine, when we messed up in America, they were fine with us paying cash…”.
    The original wording is: “Когда мы кошмарили Америку». Kinda difficult to translate… “When we nightmared America”.

    I’m guessing if some of this money was spent in USA, it would have been spread around like an ETF does it. Pick a basket of crazies, fund them, identify the over achievers and increase the weight

    steveg (70bb46)

  70. An active ETF

    steveg (70bb46)

  71. My guess is that Putin got to other members of the Progozhin Conspiracy. Some from the very beginning, like Fidel Castro used to. Leaving Progozhin with his neck sticking out all by itself.

    Run, Yevgeniy, run!

    nk (095f80)

  72. This is all giving me a case of geopolitical blue round objects.

    norcal (8b5267)

  73. The Wagner fighters need to be kept by Russians, in the Russian tent or several points on the front could collapse. Some wagner folks may try to cut a deal with Ukrainians for surrender and safe passage but I would not bet on that either. Who is going to take them in? It’d be like buying your kids pit vipers instead of a dog

    steveg (70bb46)

  74. The funniest thing is seeing MAGAs pivot from:
    “America First! Our government is supposed to serve Americans only! Ukraine has nothing to do with us!”
    to:
    “Biden has failed in his responsibility to maintain peace and stability in the world!”

    What’s more disgusting is the MAGA claims that the CIA engineered a coup attempt in Russia to distract from Hunter Biden or for some other nefarious purpose — just as the most zealous MAGA “patriots” portrayed America as the villain behind Russia’s war on Ukraine (aka “a proxy war on Russia”).

    Guess what else the Russian turmoil distracted from? The criminal cases against Trump.

    Radegunda (74da37)

  75. True, but he and his men are out of Ukraine.

    DRJ (8a860b)

  76. My comment was in response to Patterico saying this is weird.

    DRJ (8a860b)

  77. I took a nap then woke up and learned that Prigozhin went to Belarus.
    Belarus?
    What happens to his mercenaries? Are they still taking orders from him?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  78. And it’s laughable that Prigozhin would be safe in Belarus. Of course he knows that, so what gives. There’s just so much of this fast unfolding story that we don’t know. But anything that exposes Putin’s underpants to the world is a positive.

    Dana (560c99)

  79. From Tatarigami on twitter

    16:30 Update on russian soldiers in Occupied Territories:

    Throughout the day, a propaganda campaign has been specifically directed at russian soldiers within the army. A significant number of these soldiers are confined within an informational bubble, primarily due to restricted internet access and a stringent information policy. A portion of them possesses only a vague understanding of the ongoing events. Here are the key points spread through the internal propaganda:

    – Prigozhin has initiated an unlawful protest (sometimes word mutiny is also used) against Russia, posing a threat to the nation and its interests.

    – Wagner soldiers should not be regarded as adversaries unless engage in hostilities, as their involvement in conflicts serves the personal power ambitions of Prigozhin.

    – Wagner soldiers were deceived, unaware that they were fighting against russia and president.

    – The consequences of a mutiny will be dire: the military defeat of russia and the potential presence of NATO forces on russian soil.

    Responses to the events are varied, with a majority of military personnel displaying confusion or limited awareness regarding the unfolding situation.

    steveg (70bb46)

  80. Per the Kyiv Independent.

    Putin’s spokesman: Part of Wagner mercenaries will sign contracts with Defense Ministry.

    The Wagner mercenaries who did not participate in the rebellion will sign contracts with the Defense Ministry and will not be prosecuted, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

    I’m not sure “part” of the Wagner mercenaries didn’t participate in this putsch. If the story is accurate and Prigozhin is out of the operational picture, it’s good news for Ukraine because the Shoigu-Gerasimov team have been tremendously incompetent during this war, and Putin’s standing as an indomitable leader took a serious hit.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  81. I have read a few places that the Wagner Naziw are signing contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense. Since it is first-to-market twittering I will spare sharing links as it is speculation as far as I know.

    But to play off of that speculation I have a wild theory. Prigozhin and Putin organized this so the Wagner Troops would be forced to operate completely and totally under Russian authority. The casualties were a calculated risk.

    Prigozhin essentially comes out of it like a union boss proclaiming he got the best deal for his men, while Putin puts an end to the most vocal dissension amongst his ranks.

    Smoke and mirrors.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  82. The consequences of a mutiny will be dire: the military defeat of russia and the potential presence of NATO forces on russian soil.

    steveg (70bb46) — 6/24/2023 @ 3:05 pm

    OMG! What a catastrophe!

    NATO forces on Russian soil would be the complete opposite of dire. A Western occupation of Russia a la post-WWII Germany and Japan would be the best thing that ever happened to Russia.

    norcal (8b5267)

  83. Unless you’re a J6 rioter escaping American justice, who in the heck would seek asylum in a sheethole country like Belarus?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  84. Unless you’re a J6 rioter escaping American justice, who in the heck would seek asylum in a sheethole country like Belarus?

    Maybe someone escaping from Syria?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  85. Guess what else the Russian turmoil distracted from? The criminal cases against Trump.

    Good luck with that. Drip. Drip. Drip.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  86. Who is going to take them in? It’d be like buying your kids pit vipers instead of a dog

    I can see Ukraine hiring them to fight inside Russia.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  87. NATO forces on Russian soil would be the complete opposite of dire. A Western occupation of Russia a la post-WWII Germany and Japan would be the best thing that ever happened to Russia.

    MAGA: “NO WAR FOR OIL!!!!”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  88. So, a deal is struck. Prigozhin returns to his native Belarus, with some kind of guarantee from Lubashenko (please STFU). His forces stand down and accept Russian control. The Defense Minister is replaced.

    So, why did Prigozhin do this? The simplest answer is that Putin had ordered his “arrest” and he feared falling out window. So he rallied his troops to quash the warrant.

    This will cause the Russians some difficulty in defending against Ukraine. IF there was a time to end the war, this would be a good one. A propagandist’s dream.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  89. KevinM

    Putin can pivot to blaming the mutiny when the Great Ukrainian Adventure failure is complete

    steveg (70bb46)

  90. Prigozhin is in a tough place. He has no safe haven unless he chooses to live in Mali until he is disemboweled in the next coup… 3-5 years? I guess another option might be North Korea if he has enough cash stashed away

    steveg (70bb46)

  91. The simplest answer is that Prigozhin saw bad times ahead in Ukraine and wanted an exit strategy.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  92. I’ve seen video of Russians in Rostov-on-the Don challenging police and supporting Wagner. The Russian people recognize the level of military competence Wagner has vs. the incompetence of the Red Army

    steveg (70bb46)

  93. Exit strategy for the international pariah appears to be limited to Belarus. Aspiring warlords, merchants of death should take note… but they won’t. Eric Prince was smart enough to go live in Dubai- Prigozhin? Belarus? Maybe it is a ruse.

    steveg (70bb46)

  94. Putin won’t live forever.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  95. It would be a beautiful thing if Putin and his cronies ended up in Yekaterinburg.

    JVW (2a1ce4)

  96. Well, I confess that I am very disappointed, but I also confess that I have only myself to blame for my disappointment.

    There I go and doubt an Arkansas stripper about her child’s paternity as I rightly should, and then turn right around and believe a story out of Russia.

    Sometimes, I just don’t make sense to myself.

    nk (359027)

  97. The most important thing would be that he wouldn’t be killed by the Kremlin at some point in time. How/why on earth would he ever buy such an assurance? He’s as much a criminal as Putin, and he knows how this works.

    “No, Carlo, you’re out of the family business. That’s your punishment.”

    Yeah, right. Lol.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  98. Prigozhin is in a tough place.

    A very tough place as he is a wanted mass-murdering war criminal.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  99. Prigozhin? Belarus? Maybe it is a ruse.

    It’s his homeland.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  100. My mistake believing someone else’s mistake. He comes from Leningrad.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  101. The interesting thing was how easy the wagner group drove up the highway to moscow with pathetic attempts to stop them and others helping them along. Russian state tv’s panic will not help stability for putin. Authoritarian regimes need to intimidate not be intimidated.

    asset (1bce10)

  102. nk,

    You are being too hard on yourself. As our host pointed out, yesterday was a weird day.

    But if yesterday was mystifying for Americans, imagine how confused Russians are by the things that happen in America.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  103. The Economist:

    Mr Prigozhin has punctured the Kremlin’s authority. His small band of forces, not much more than a brigade’s worth, contrived the first land-based threat to Moscow since Hitler in 1941—even if it proved to be, quite literally, ephemeral. Mr Putin was counting on a long war in which the West would grow tired of arming and funding Ukraine. There is now strong evidence that the war’s prolongation is also accelerating the fragmentation and decay of his regime. The mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of new recruits, without which Mr Putin cannot mount any fresh offensive, would worsen that problem.

    Moreover, Mr Prigozhin has also punctured Mr Putin’s rationale for war. In a video posted on June 23rd he rubbished Russian claims that Ukraine had bombed the Donbas region for eight years and that Ukraine and nato intended to attack Russia. The war, he said, was in fact launched for the benefit of Russia’s “oligarchic elite”. That might prompt unsettling questions among Russia’s rank-and-file. “Who,” asks John Foreman, British defence attaché in Moscow until recently, “would want to fight on for a Russian regime which has shown such weakness, declaring a mutiny and then rowing back within the day?”

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  104. @106:

    It does seem like “the quiet part out loud.” And I ask, what is the purpose of schools telling little kids that they can change their sex if they want? How does this help more than a tiny fraction, and does that outweigh the gender dysphoria it artificially creates?

    It’s a great topic for your next PTA meeting. Although you might be arrested.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  105. Ooops, sorry. This actually belongs on the open thread.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  106. My link was an affirmation to 105, Kevin.

    BuDuh (9c9dfd)

  107. To be clear, instead of executing the traitor and destroying the traitor’s insurrectionist forces, Putin capitulated, negotiating safe passage for the traitor and offering amnesty for the insurrectionists.
    This is not a Russian dictator operating from a position of strength. Ivan the Terrible would not have been so charitable.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  108. Peter Schweizer retweets this:

    Peter Schweizer Retweeted

    Michael McFaul

    @McFaul
    ·
    Jun 24
    Putin could not control a mercenary force that he created & run by his buddy. He had to rely on Lukashenko of all people to cut a deal with a guy he called just hours ago a traitor. These are signs of real weakness, not strength.

    But then he also goes conspiratorial with stuff like this:

    Hunter Biden Paid For A Private Global Cell Phone For Joe Biden While He Was Vice President

    I have no idea what Schweizer‘s track record is, or if he is just a clickbaiter.

    BuDuh (9c9dfd)

  109. 67. Dana (560c99) — 6/24/2023 @ 12:48 pm

    Browder says whenever it doesn’t make sense on the surface, it means we just don’t have all the information. I think he’s right. When dealing with the Kremlin and Wagner, there are going to be lies upon lies and endless propaganda to wade through.

    I think that’s right.

    But we can guess what sort of thing would need to be true for any of this to make sense:

    1) The quasi-rebellion was all for show. Putin and Prigozhin are still working together, Putin still needs Prigozhin in Syria, in the Central African Republic and other places. and maybe Sudan.

    2) This has occurred because the best assessment that Putin has of the Russian military situation is that the Russian position vs a vs Ukraine could collapse in one month. Prigozhin wanted an excuse to drop out of the war.

    3) Everything here is about the aftermath of the war. Putin is thinking (has compared it to, too!) Russia in 1917.

    Notes:

    His men in Ukraine will be offered the chance to join the Russian army. The deadline was July 1 before this all started

    Prigozhin has been giving out contradictory propaganda. On the one hand, the war is not being fought hard enough, and on the other there is no reason for the war. He emphasized a little bit the latter in order to get noninterference by the residents of Rostov-on Don.

    Sammy Finkelman (6054db)

  110. 87. Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/24/2023 @ 3:22 pm

    Maybe someone escaping from Syria?

    They were granted legal tourist visas by Belarus with the intention they should cross over into Poland. It was a means of pressuring Poland.

    There are one or two J6 plotters who took refuge in the former Soviet Union, probably because Putin had something to do with that.

    Sammy Finkelman (6054db)

  111. Dana (560c99) — 6/24/2023 @ 2:58 pm

    And it’s laughable that Prigozhin would be safe in Belarus. Of course he knows that, so what gives.

    The rebellion was all fake. What else?

    And the reason for all this has to be that Prigozhin and Putin anticipate that there will probably be a massive collapse in the front within a month. But not immediately, and they want a decent interval.

    They don’t have much hope they will be able to prevent a massic=ve retreat.

    No regular Russian forces left Ukraine and maybe nit from the Wagner Group either. (The people who stopped 124 miles from Moscow came from a base camp inside Russia I think),
    .

    Sammy Finkelman (6054db)

  112. I have no idea what Schweizer‘s track record is, or if he is just a clickbaiter.

    BuDuh (9c9dfd) — 6/25/2023 @ 1:05 pm

    He’s an editor at Breitbart. Draw your own conclusions.

    As for his re-tweet of McFaul, it’s McFaul’s credibility that matters, not Schweizer’s. And McFaul is our former ambassador to Russia, and before that he was head Russia expert on the National Security Council. Presumably he has some expertise on the subject. There’s also the small matter of Putin having a vendetta against McFaul almost equal to his enmity for Bill Browder. McFaul hasn’t exactly been kind in return. So there’s that.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  113. My link was an affirmation to 105, Kevin.

    I was referring to my post, not yours. Sorry that wasn’t clear.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  114. Ivan the Terrible would not have been so charitable.

    Ivan might have killed Prigozhin, and maybe his command staff, but he would not have uselessly wasted cannon fodder in the middle of a war.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  115. The deal was made because Putin was scared. Putin knew that his government was weak and that by the time Prigozhin got to Moscow, his (Putin’s) position was untenable.

    Even now I expect that the overnight deposit window in Switzerland is paying a lot of overtime.

    Wagner troops are safe because Putin needs them. Once the war is over (assuming that Putin isn’t on a beach in Cuba), there may be some payback. I think Prigozhin is thinking that Putin is busy not dying himself to spend any time now on retribution.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  116. The deal was made because it was worked out in advance, because both Putin and Prigozhin expect the Ukrainian front to collapse in a bit longer than a month and Prigozhin didn’t want to be around for that,

    Nothing has changed in Syria and Africa as far as I know.

    Prigozhin’s reasons for starting his march are a lie (his forces were not attacked by the Russian military) and his reasons for stopping are a liie (he did not care about bloodshed between Russians)

    Sammy Finkelman (6054db)

  117. My link was an affirmation to 105, Kevin.

    That’s an interesting take on my comment, although I doubt that mystifies Russians at all. They are constantly told about the decadent, self-centered West. Your example confirms what they already think. (So does Trump.)

    What they don’t understand about America is why we can be this way and still succeed economically and militarily. IMO they don’t understand the benefits of capitalism and the Rule of Law. They share that with some Americans.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  118. Here’s an excellent summation by Dmitri Alperovitch.

    1. That a hostile armed column of about 5,000 troops can just drive across Russia for hours to within 200km of Moscow and no one in the MoD, Rosgvardia, MVD or FSB seems capable or willing to stop them.
    (Ukraine take note)
    2. That another armed column of a few thousand troops (some of them former convicts!) can just drive into a major Russian city of a million people and take it over without firing a shot, including a major military command center and an airbase.
    3. That the Russian Air Force is incapable of achieving air superiority even over a small part of a highway in Russia against a small group of mercenaries armed with Pantsir air defenses and no air force of their own.
    4. That Lukashenko is much braver than Putin and is more capable of acting decisively to preserve his hold on power, something that Putin seems to have little ability to do.
    5. That during an armed mutiny in Russia, its Defense Minister Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Gerasimov can’t be expected to show up anywhere and lead (they are still MIA today). Its top generals—Dep Defense Minister Evkurov and Dep GRU Aleskeev would cower before the mutineer.
    6. That loyalty to Putin does not run deep. In the crucial 13 hours before Putin’s speech, few came out in support of him. No governors, no Duma members, not even his national security council. Only 2 generals Surovikin and Alekseev recorded ‘hostage videos’ urging Wagner to stop.

    I don’t know about #4, but the rest, yeah. More Alperovitch.

    And what do we know about the situation now?
    1. This episode is far from over. Wagner and Prigozhin did not surrender. They withdrew in an orderly fashion, with all of their equipment and forces in tact (with the support of cheering and hugging crowds)
    2. For about 24 hours, Wagner became a banned organization in Russia. Their online presence was blacklisted, offices raided, recruitment posters taken down, online merchandise sales blocked… And now, everything seems to be forgiven and many of the bans completely reversed.
    I do not, for one second, believe anything that comes out of Dmitry Peskov’s mouth (a notorious liar and one who is literally never in the loop on anything) and so far he is the only source of the comments about Moscow’s deal with Prigozhin.
    3. Putin is not acting like a person who is capable of swiftly reasserting his power and cracking down on anyone who had sided against him or simply had chosen to step aside and pretend like nothing was happening.
    4. Prigozhin’s name recognition is now one of the highest in Russia. He had challenged the Kremlin and (so far) has gotten away with it. If he survives, he may have created a significant political base for himself in Russian politics – one that did not exist prior to this weekend.

    On #3 above, Putin’s conciliatory response to Prigozhin and his people may be partially explained by the positive reaction to Prigozhin & Co. from the people on the street in Rostov. Putin may risk alienating too many Russians (and oligarchs) if he goes all Carthage on the mutineers.
    And a little more.

    What does all this mean for the future?
    I think Putin has demonstrated exceptional weakness and limited control over the levers of power in Russia. He has also so far not shown that he is capable of reasserting that control. He could still do so but the clock is ticking and chaos might erupt if he doesn’t.

    In a brutal authoritarian system, displays of such weakness are dangerous. It’s not that someone might decide to make a move on Putin tomorrow but that his propensity to avoid making tough decisions is likely to cause various actors within the Russian system to start ignoring him.

    Putin is in real danger of becoming irrelevant as various clans across the system (security services, governors, etc) might follow in Prigozhin’s footsteps and start to take actions and pursue their interests without coordination or approval from the Kremlin.

    After all, if Prigozhin can get away with mutiny to keep operating his Wagner PMC company, why shouldn’t they do what they like as well?

    I’m not so convinced that Putin could become irrelevant, because he still controls the levers of power, but it could open the door to more rebellion and more challenges to his leadership, which is not good while in the middle of a war.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  119. Regarding Prigozhin’s decisions to stand down, this makes sense.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  120. Putin could realistically threaten the families of the Nazis, but he was simultaneously too weak and ill prepared for an insurrection?

    BuDuh (9c9dfd)

  121. If Putin were prepared for an insurrection, how did Rostov and points north fall so quickly?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  122. See my comment at 84, Paul.

    I still think there is more dust that needs to settle.

    BuDuh (9c9dfd)

  123. I realize that this is unnecessarily spy novely, but what if this was really the opposite of an insurrection set up to look like one?

    Lets look at the results:

    Prigozhin is now out of an increasingly unpopular and less and less successful war, with an intact and loyal military force, and increased name recognition and popularity. Historically he has been a strong and effective leader.

    Now, stay with me:

    Putin is getting older in a country that is not kind to the aging process. He appears to be primarily motivated by the idea of returning Russia to a world power. He does not have an obvious successor that appears likely to be able to complete Putin’s goal. He is not stupid, he can see the way the war is going and where his own popularity is likely to end up. I know we’ve speculated on Putin’s health before, but what if there really is an actual problem?

    What if they are setting up Prigozhin to be Putin’s successor?

    (This would work better if Prigozhin were 10-15 years younger, but maybe he looks like Putin’s best choice, given his options.)

    Nic (896fdf)

  124. Nice,

    I think Prigozhin may have planned this to extract himself, his company, and his men from Ukraine. I don’t think Putin would have agreed to being made to look so weak.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  125. Nic. Not Nice, although you are nice.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  126. That does make sense, Paul. He even said he was stopping to avoid bloodshed.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  127. What can anyone point to that demonstrates Prigozhin’s historical concerns about bloodshed?

    Also, it’s good to bear in mind that Wagner soldiers are loyal to Prigozhin, not Putin, nor Russia. So I find it puzzling that they (en masse) would acquiesce to the Russian military and take officials’ word word that they will be forgiven their momentary uh, mutinous behavior and be welcomed into the fold. It just still doesn’t wash with me. At this point, anyway.

    Dana (560c99)

  128. @DRJ@128/129 Thanks!

    It would be awfully risky if he hadn’t had some kind of assurances from someone before hand. I’m just speculating, of course, but it does put Prigozhin in a really good position if he wants to get involved later (assuming he doesn’t fall out of a window or drink glowing tea in the near future.)

    Nic (896fdf)

  129. Condottieri!
    Oh, won’t you come to your senses?
    Have you not seen the fences,
    Around our gulags?

    More than that is chimerical.

    nk (bb1548)

  130. Well, okay, one more thing, and present company excepted as always.

    When talking about a “weakened Putin”, I don’t want to hear from people who had to settle for soy milk for their latte because their office building’s Starbucks was out of oat milk. I want to hear from people who have a Defense of Stalingrad Medal at home.

    nk (bb1548)

  131. Okay, so this makes more sense. An obvious go-to tactic, and one that apparently worked:

    Russian intelligence services threatened to harm the families of Wagner leaders before Yevgeny Prigozhin called off his advance on Moscow, according to UK security sources…The analysis offers clues into the mystery of why Prigozhin, the Wagner Group leader, called off his mutinous march on Moscow on Saturday just hours before reaching the capital.

    The report also claims the number of Wagner fighters was closer to 8,000 rather than the 25,000 previously reported. With that number of fighting mutineers, they likely wouldn’t have been successful in their efforts if they had ever reached Moscow.

    Dana (560c99)

  132. Ah. From the same report:

    Meanwhile, members of Russia’s convict army have issued threats against Prigozhin, claiming he betrayed them by abandoning the Kremlin coup attempt…video posted online by the prisoners-turned-fighters accused Prigozhin of “cowardice”, saying his supporters had been “double crossed” and now faced retribution.

    One of the Storm-Z soldiers could be heard saying that Prigozhin had “promised everything” to them and then “turned the steering wheel in the other direction”.

    Dana (560c99)

  133. From soldiers of fortune to hostages to fortune? Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of murderers, rapists, thieves, and deviants.

    nk (0420d1)

  134. You’d think that a restauranteur and caterer would know that he who sups with the Devil should have a long spoon. Apparently, 123 miles was not long enough.

    nk (0420d1)

  135. …he was simultaneously too weak and ill prepared for an insurrection

    He surrounded himself with yes-men who told him all was well. When a leader cloisters himself and hires only Baghdad Bob as advisors, things will start to go poorly. Although no one will tell him.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  136. (This would work better if Prigozhin were 10-15 years younger, but maybe he looks like Putin’s best choice, given his options.)

    Maybe to us, but there’s a lot of politicos in Russia. Probably a few less today, but still. There’s Navalny.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  137. Sounds like the criminals that had been released from prison were the bulk of the Moscow-bound troops, while the Wagner Group mercenaries stayed behind. That would explain the amnesty for Wagner troops that did not participate in the insurrection. Putin and Russia still needs them.

    But Prigozhin knew how many troops he had willing to go and he still went. This wasn’t an accidental insurrection. He had a goal.

    The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think he would have arranged for his family’s safety before undertaking an insurrection. Was he testing the loyalty of his troops to Putin and Russia, with the cooperation of the Defense Ministry? They put up no resistance and the Russians would resist.

    There are many other possibilities. We will have a better idea who was a real Putin enemy once the purges start. (They probably already have.)

    DRJ (fd3827)

  138. He surrounded himself with yes-men who told him all was well.

    Did his yes-men tell him there were 25,000 troops or 8,000 or some other number?

    BuDuh (b04604)

  139. Both Putin and Prigozhin haven’t been heard from since Saturday. Mo confirmation from Belarus that Prigozhin is there. He was last seen being cheered in Rs=ostiv-on-Don.

    The U,S. did see signs of something like stockpiling weapons but was surprised both by the takeover of Rostiv and by the sudden end of the whatever it was. During the conflict Prigozhin’s forces shot down some Russian aircraft.

    Sammy Finkelman (6054db)

  140. The fog of war has nothing on the fumes of vodka.

    nk (0420d1)

  141. Prizgozhin has reappeared:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jun/26/yevgeny-prigozhin-breaks-silence-after-armed-mutiny-russia

    The things he is saying do not make a ton of sense. Well, you know what they say in Russsia, when a door closes, just step through an open window.

    Appalled (db24ea)

  142. From Appalled’s link:

    If he was now allowed to maintain control of Wagner and avoid a jail cell, it would suggest that Prigozhin still has leverage in the Kremlin and is still seen as a valuable asset, despite having brought the country to the brink of civil war this weekend.

    If so, then the question is who is in charge in Russia — Putin or the Defense Ministers? Was the plan to get Putin out of Moscow?

    DRJ (2dc07c)

  143. Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin breaks silence, claims attempted Russian coup was just a ‘protest’
    ……..
    “We started our march because of an injustice,” Prigozhin said in the 11-minute audio recording. “We went to demonstrate our protest and not to overthrow power in the country.”
    ……….
    “We felt that demonstrating what we were going to do was sufficient,” he said.
    ……….

    Yeah, like January 6th was just a protest.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  144. Re: Prigozhin said he did not want to topple Putin.

    That is completely consistent with all his statements. He never claimed anything else.

    He always said he wanted to get rid of (even execute) the Defense Minister.

    Putin has also reappeared (via video)

    Letest news:

    https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-reepels-russian-attack-shoigu-visits-troops/32475778.html

    Russia’s President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation on June 26.

    In an address to the nation on June 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Wagner mercenary fighters who took part in the revolt over the weekend can either join the Russian Army or go to Belarus.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. Administration is still trying to figure out what is going on, and Biden decided he should tell Putin that he had nothing to do with this.

    U.S. President Joe Biden and other Western leaders said the brief uprising was part of a struggle within the Russian system. Biden said neither the United States nor its allies was involved.

    Biden’s message was sent directly to the Russians through various diplomatic channels, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters. He did not characterize Russia’s response.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  145. Now for Putin’s revenge: Russian dictator vows to hunt down Wagner chiefs who led coup and claims Ukraine and the West had role in armed mutiny during new TV statement

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12235793/Putin-makes-TV-address-Russian-dictator-breaks-cover-time-Wagner-coup-chaos.html

    BuDuh (55a8c7)

  146. Putin:

    “Virtually the entirety of Russian society… was united by its responsibility to defend their homeland’.”

    Given the problems at home from the Ukraine war, Putin benefits the most from a united, patriotic country.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  147. 149.

    Putin made no mention of Prigozhin,

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  148. I hear a lot of overthinking here. Take it for what it was, an attempted putsch that didn’t pencil out, but didn’t fail either.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  149. Yeah, like January 6th was just a protest.

    Well, they didn’t have tanks and shoulder-fired missiles. That would have ended much differently. One way or the other.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  150. “Virtually the entirety of Russian society… was united by its responsibility to defend their homeland’.”

    Pull the other one. People are tired of your war.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  151. Russians are chess masters. It’s the one society where overthinking is warranted.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  152. America is where conspiracies happen but typically have simpler explanations.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  153. Pull the other one. People are tired of your war.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/26/2023 @ 2:39 pm

    😛

    I maintain that your comedic talents are under-utilized, Kevin.

    norcal (8b5267)

  154. #156

    “It’s a fine line between clever and stupid”

    This Is Spinal Tap

    Appalled (9e0516)

  155. Leaders like Putin view loyalty to country and loyalty to its leader as the same things.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  156. A classic, Appalled.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  157. Like Kevin, I don’t think this actually benefits Putin. Putin has been weakened and is trying to put the best spin on it that he can. The Russians are divided and suspicious of everyone — the opposite of united.

    Advantage: Ukraine.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  158. US gathered detailed intelligence on Wagner chief’s rebellion plans but kept it secret from most allies

    US intelligence officials were able to gather an extremely detailed and accurate picture of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s plans leading up to his short-lived rebellion, including where and how Wagner was planning to advance, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

    But the intelligence was so closely held that it was shared only with select allies, including senior British officials, and not at the broader NATO level, these sources said.
    ………
    The intelligence was so secret that within the US, it was briefed only to the most senior administration officials as well as the Gang of Eight members of Congress, who have access to the most sensitive intelligence matters.

    The secrecy surrounding the intelligence was why some senior European officials and even senior officials across the US government were caught off guard by Prigozhin’s attack on Friday, and the speed with which Wagner forces marched into Rostov-on-Don and up toward Moscow into Saturday morning, the sources said.
    ……….
    Some NATO officials expressed frustration that the intelligence was not shared. But doing so would have risked compromising extremely sensitive sources and methods, sources explained. …….
    ……….
    Multiple sources told CNN that US and Western officials believe that Putin was simply caught off guard by Prigozhin’s actions and did not have time to array his forces against the Wagner mercenaries before they managed to seize control of the military headquarters in Rostov. Putin also likely did not want to divert significant resources away from Ukraine, officials said.

    Officials do believe, however, that had Prigozhin tried to seize Moscow or the Kremlin, he would have lost – decisively. That is likely why Prigozhin agreed to strike a deal with Belarus and ultimately turned his troops around, the officials said.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  159. Joe opposes regime change as putin’s checks might bounce!

    asset (d94edc)

  160. Plenty of other checks.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  161. The question would be: WHy did Putin stage manage all this if the rebellion was staged? It is easy to see why Prigozhin would do this. He wants to be out of the fight, without being blamed for losing the war. MMaybe Putin had to go along because he needs Prigozhin.

    Sammy Finkelman (41ea5b)

  162. 162, They also didn’t think anything would happen so soon. It was probably not s complete preparation for a rebellion because all Prigozhin wanted to do was a phony march. He just wanted to save his weapons and keep them under his control, not fight.

    Sammy Finkelman (41ea5b)

  163. They were caught by surprise because Prigozhin wasn’t planning a coup, just an escape from responsibility for abandoning and losing the war — while at the same time arguing against the war and not running into any censorship.

    It was all over so fast because the end was planned in advance.

    Sammy Finkelman (41ea5b)

  164. Putin, however, is worried that some subordinates of Prigozhin never knew the secret (that the mutiny was never supposed to succeed) and are disappointed, and now really want to rebel or continue the rebellion so now, just in case, he’s threatening to punish them.

    Sammy Finkelman (41ea5b)

  165. Prigozhin said at the outset that his forces had been attacked by the Russian military. I don’t think his forces were attacked at all. Somebody said to me about this that maybe they didn’t but they got Ukrainians to do that. But according to Ukrainians a bit back Prigozhin offered to help Ukraine attack.

    Sammy Finkelman (41ea5b)

  166. Democracies rest on placidity. Dictatorships float on chaos.

    nk (81e6ff)

  167. Sammy, when you get to the bottom of your rabbit hole, let us know.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  168. Report that Prigozhin is in Belarus, per the Belarus President.

    DRJ (fd3827)

  169. defmon3 twitter
    Putin needs Wagner for Africa, so he does not want to mess too much with them. But he also want to keep the Shoigu & CO calm so he sends Prigo to Belarus. At this point he is trying to make everyone happy.

    From the following thread
    https://twitter.com/Tatarigami_UA/status/1670808133290033153
    Explains quite well how Wagner is moving into larger pastures in Africa than just diamonds and gold.

    Most people are not aware that China has seen the success of Wagner in Africa and has moved towards raising their game. Right now, China has state held Private Security Companies in Africa , and Russia has instead chosen to claim that Wagner in Africa is independent of the Kremlin. Chinese security companies are not heavily armed like Wager is and some are saying the China may be looking to migrate to a Chinese version of the Wagner model

    https://thediplomat.com/2023/06/will-chinas-private-security-companies-follow-the-wagner-groups-footsteps-in-africa/

    steveg (e81d76)

  170. Looking forward to Wagner fighting it out with Chinese PSC’s over energy and mining resources. China’s needs and extraction methods are rapacious. I’ve seen Chinese methods at work in Southeast Asian countries in harvesting raw materials for Chinese traditional medicine. Need river otter penis for Erectile Dysfunction? String a net across the river downstream and then dynamite everything upstream. It is a bit like when US settlers and hunters shot bison and just took the tongue. Need a root for sore throat? Borrow some slave labor from the gulag style political prisons and send hundreds men side by side with pick and shovel turning every inch of soil and another wave of men to follow behind sorting through it all. It is worse than clear cutting timer because everything is stripped down to mineral earth

    steveg (8eb43c)

  171. Good points, Steve.

    Don’t get me started on all of the Chinese superstitions regarding health. The Communists destroyed much of Chinese culture, and placed severe checks on religion, but tiger bone this and bear bile that continues to thrive.

    norcal (8b5267)

  172. Sammy. The mutiny can be seen as a labor dispute (with heavily armed labor) spun as a somewhat late International Workers Day of action over working conditions. I have no doubt that there would be friendly fire incidents, maybe some intentional. Russian POW’s speak of being robbed of gear and personal belongings by Wagner, and if true, I could see that boiling over into violence. Yet another reason why it is a bad idea to empty prisons into an already poorly or undisciplined army operating in a chaotic war zone. I could also see this occurring between Kadyrovites and Wagner as both are seen as being above the law

    steveg (8eb43c)

  173. Wagner was stopped from recruiting in prisons, but later the regular my started doing it.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/27/2023 @ 10:15 am

    Sammy, when you get to the bottom of your rabbit hole, let us know.

    That may take a while, but every half a day brings new information, some simply by virtue of what happens and what does not happen.

    If Wagner is still in Africa, they’re still allies.

    I think, on the war, the U.S. built weapons to destroy Russian weapons – they;re not quite as successful as they had hoped, but Ukraine is going slow and careful and trying to conserve Ukrainian lives, per American instruction. Much of their forces are still in reserve. They are looking for weak spots, where Russia did not build defenses. Russia has only built strong defenses, including mines, near the front line.. Once they bresk through there will be a quick defeat.

    Russia is anticipating losses. They’ve doublled the number of dolphins defending Sevastopol in two months. (they use other marine mammals in the Arctic)

    Sammy Finkelman (7faa2f)

  174. The Russians uses Beluga whales in the arctic, and Wagner in Africa and Syria. The Beluga whales are much more in control of their emotions

    steveg (8eb43c)

  175. It looks like there was a real split between the mutineers and Putin. Yevgeny Prigozhin planned to take two top leaders of the Russian army hostage in Rostov where they planned to visit, The plot was ds=iscovered by the FSB and they did not go there (although two other officials were caught and yelled at) Prigozhin became aware of the leak and advanced his plans by 6-36 hours. He may have had an ally, who condemned it early on Friday and bombed his troops but it looked like he didn’t want to condemn it. He was quietly arrested.

    Meanwhile the Belorussian president gave a whole account of how he settled matters after Putin called him, saying he could not get in touch with Prigozhin. He couldn’t either when he tried but Prigozhin had put online a video of himself with somebody else and he called that somebody else who gave Prigozhin the phone. He endured a tirade from Progozhin for half an hour but then negotiated a settlement.

    There were leaks on both sides and even leaks about what the United States knew – Ruussians supposedly knew what the US did.

    Sammy Finkelman (f4cd04)


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