Saturday 24 June 2023

Wagner v. Putin

Boxes of cash have been found by the Russian security services (FSB) in vehicles near Yevgeny Prigozhin's (Wagner) office in St Petersburg .

Unconfirmed Russian media reports said the cardboard boxes contained 4 billion roubles (£36.7 million).

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin said his militia  has taken over the Southern Defense Command in Rostov-on-Don and that the city's airfield was under his control as part of his revenge mission after Vladimir Putin's forces reportedly slaughtered some of his fighters. 

Prigozhin, who was once a confidant of Putin before declaring war on Moscow's military leadership, said in a video that the highest ranking officer at the command post had fled as soon as he learned that Wagner forces were approaching. 

Residents have been told to stay in their homes by government officials, but some were seen out observing what was happening, even live-streaming the action on their cell phones. 

Putin is set to give a televised address to the nation which is in chaos amid the insurrection. Prigozhin launched his extraordinary action after calling for the ousting of the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and vowing to punish Russian military leaders - whom he accused of killing 'hundreds' of his mercenaries in an air strike.



At 24 June 2023 at 00:16 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why invade ROSTOV-on-DON? tiny population about 30,000. Of all towns? why open the uprising there? Prigozhin is NATO-backed, and has jewish right of return. Is this behaviour any surprise??

At 24 June 2023 at 01:40 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many strange aspects to these events

If you look at the video of Putin's address after the Prigozhin mutiny, 'Putin' is fuzzy around the edges against the background, as if he is talking in front of a green screen, or the whole video is AI-generated

Major Ukraine war blogger Simplicius, comments on the strangeness of Prigozhin's recent statements, which seem to be false in many respects, the falsehood quite gratuitous given how Prigozhin is a popular figure given Wagner successes

Prigozhin is claiming Ukraine has won back various locations from the Russians, tho on-site videos from the Russian military seem to show this is not true.

Even Prigozhin's counterpart, the other leading figure of Russian nationalism and critique of Russia's war ministry, 'Strelkov' (Igor Girkin), openly says that Prigozhin is lying.

Russians themselves float many possibilities as to what is going on, for example -
- Is Prigozhin, an old Putin friend from 1990s St Petersburg, still playing a role?
--- Is his 'mutiny' perhaps the pretext to finally sideline Russia's reputedly corrupt and oligarch-connected Defence Minister Shoigu, the major target of Prigozhin's vitriol?
--- Is his 'mutiny' an attempt to lure Ukrainians into rushed military action because they think Russians are preoccupied, and be destroyed?
--- Is the Prigozhin 'mutiny' trying to set an example for Ukrainians to conduct their own mutiny, and finally get rid of Zelensky?

At 24 June 2023 at 02:05 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Potentially a false false to draw Ukraine in for an attack?

At 24 June 2023 at 03:28 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Rostov, it has a military base and an airfield, weapons and supplies for Prigozhin's rebellion

2 minute video with English subtitles, Prigozhin broadcasting from Rostov's military base he now controls

Another interesting question - if Prigozhin is not doing theatre in some game with Putin as suggested above - is this perhaps the moment when Russia's well-armed, independent-militia minorities (20% of Russia), such as the Muslim Chechens, can seize their opportunity for independence from Russia?

Chechens have not forgotten their perhaps 100,000 dead during the 1990s-00s Chechen wars in which Putin was involved ... Putin accused of co-operating with 'false flags' to blame 'Muslim terrorists'. Are the minorities the 'wild card' in this quasi-coup?

At 24 June 2023 at 08:29 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rolo Slavskiy:

"Within less than 12 hours after everything started, Putin himself came out and warned that 1917 had commenced again

- Prigozhin declared that he will fight, moved in on Rostov, takes over the military HQ
- Military helicopters start getting shot down. So far three rumored down
- Wagner moves north on Voronezh [halfway to Moscow] and soldiers there lay down arms
- Putin condemns Wagner as traitors in video address
- Moscow declares state of emergency and anti-terrorism operation
- Wagner begins advance on Moscow
- The national guard is being scrambled in Moscow, men being sent out to meet Wagner before they get to Moscow

The most pressing question on everyone’s minds is, of course, does Wagner have a chance?


Wagner is making a dash towards Moscow with the assumption that someone will open the gates of the city to them. There is literally no point in moving on Moscow otherwise.

Wagner is almost certainly a GRU [military intelligence] creation. Dmitry Utkin, its co-founder, is a GRU man.

Actual power-holders in Russia, the oligarchs, are mum so far, except for Khodarkovsky, the exiled oligarch in London, who came out on Wagner’s side. With a few more oligarchs Prigozhin will have a fair shot at securing the Win.

The Russian army is weak, deployed along the front, very slow and uncoordinated and demoralised, while Wagner is professional, has nothing to lose at this point and is moving very fast

The FSB has an army of about half a million people all over Russia, true. Unfortunately for them, most of these agents are glorified shopping mall cops that won’t stand a chance against actual battle-hardened mercenaries. Wagner’s commanders are far better than [Defence Minister] Shoigu’s generals."

At 24 June 2023 at 08:46 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Putin Arrests Prigozhin Will The FBI Pay Up ? $250,000 Reward

The fact that The BBC (cough) forgot to tell you about. All that time Prigozhin spent in the good ole USA.

Todays BBC Prigozhin profile on the BBC.

Yevgeny Prigozhin: From hot dog seller to Wagner boss

The BBC’s Analysis Editor Ros Atkins looks at how Yevgeny Prigozhin rose from hot dog salesman to become the boss of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group.

Parts of this video were originally recorded on 25 May but it has been reversioned for publication on 24 June.

At 24 June 2023 at 09:12 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the odds are against Prigozhin and Wagner
But many Russians see this as a once-in-a-generation chance to demolish some of the corruption
Much of the military etc knows that the leadership has been stealing some of the funds for their supplies, causing unnecessary deaths ...
So not surprising the military is letting Prigozhin through

Reports are that oligarchs are flying out of Moscow to places like Turkey, to wait out the next few hours & days
Former President Medvedev is whining to the 'international community' about 'nuclear weapons' control being in jeopardy - the Kremlin is clearly scared


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