If you’re not tired of Putin and the coup discussion, there is another article you might be interested in that takes a different look at the ‘coup’ than we saw from Col. MacGregor. The author is anonymous and claims he or she is a political insider.
The Bismarck Cables’ author on substack agrees that the ‘coup’ was not a coup, but an attempted coup. He states that this shook Russia to its very core.
“Regardless how this eventually ends (and we should certainly assume that the drama is far from over – even if Prigozhin had ordered his troops to withdraw from their march, and even if some strange (and in the long-term, almost certainly unsustainable) deal was struck between him and Putin), this is a monumental historic event – one that shattered the Russian state to its very (turns out shallow) core.”
He believes Prigozhin’s “only goal was to maximize his own power and diminish those of his adversaries.”
The author makes a convincing case for the political nature of the event and emphatically states it was not a psyop. On the latter point, MacGregor would agree.
The piece has an excellent timeline of Prigozhin’s antics leading up to the attempted coup. There were many times Putin should have acted and didn’t, in the author’s opinion.
Excerpt from the article:
- In that very post, we also emphasized the unpalatable dilemmas faced by Putin: punish Wagner and risk losing this valuable tool, or do nothing and appear weak and not in control: incentivizing Prigozhin to push for more and his own security apparatus leaders to hedge their bets/coalition build as alternative ways of protecting their skin.
- Putin refused to punish them back in early May – these cables have emphasized how complacent this was from Putin: if an autocrat is not seen as being in charge, then he truly is not – as simple as that.
- Earlier in June, the Ministry of Defense (Shoygu) decided that enough was enough and that it was time to bring Wagner back into the fold.
- The Defense Ministry proposed to establish new military contracts for all private military companies to come under direct supervision and control – this was a necessary but exceptionally belated move.
- Putin hesitated for days, without making a clear decision.
- He finally endorsed the plan only weeks ago – in fact, only in last week’s cables we labeled Putin as a “reluctant administrator”.
- Days later, Prigozhin claimed to have been attacked by the helicopters sent by the Defense Ministry.
Prigozhin has accused the military of attacking him several times. The author says Putin should have seen this coming and acted. Putin “has grown exceptionally complacent and actually rather weak,” the author says.
“Ultrapatriots have already started to attack Putin,” and he must act fast. That means the liquidation of Prigozhin, something Prigozhin surely knows. The author thinks he might “make another comeback.”
The 30,000 plus Prigozhin loyalists will affect manpower if they go to Belarus. If they become part of the army, morale will be affected. [Editor’s note: Putin has another 300,000 joining the fight and can conscript a million, but the author says the best fighting was by The Wagner Group. The army is chaotic.]
The author says Prigozhin already destroyed the predicate for the war.
It’s all good news for Ukraine. The “longer the war lasts, the more strain is imposed on his regime.” You can read the entire rationale on this link.
I translated some of the articles in Ria Novosti, and the propaganda to damage Prigozhin had already begun. They’re calling him a thief, among other unsavory things. That’s one way the Kremlin plans to diminish Prigozhin. Putin gave a speech today, again saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed.
What do you think? Did this shatter Russia to its very core, or is it wishful thinking? I don’t know who the author is, but it sounds like someone who is all in on toppling Putin. Be careful what you wish for.