On June 23 and 24, the Wagner Group Private Military Corporation (PMC) almost took over Russia. At least, that’s what it looked like.
Though the last-minute turnaround before the mercenary group reached Moscow, and the deal for Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin to avoid punishment, has many asking questions.
What really happened with the Russian coup?
First, it’s important to summarize what we know about what happened.
Prigozhin had past problems with Vladimir Putin and Secretary of Defense Sergei Shoigu, accusing them of not supplying his mercenaries with enough ammo.
In mid-June, Prigozhin furiously accused Russian forces of attacking Wagner and mobilized his 25,000 troops. On June 23, they appeared to take over the southern Russian city of Rostov and send thousands more toward Moscow.
Before they got there, Prigozhin said the siege was over, left for Belarus, and ordered his fighters to withdraw and go back to fighting for “Mother Russia.”
Was this really an attack on Putin or some kind of inside job or psychological operation (psyop)?
Putin's rating rose to 90% following Prigozhin’s mutiny.
There won’t be legal consequences for Prigozhin who will now help Lukashenko fortify the front lines against the West.
Wagner Group will not be dismantled but will continue operate on Belarusian soil as well as in Africa.
— Velina Tchakarova (@vtchakarova) June 27, 2023
Here’s What We Know…
We know Prigozhin genuinely hates Shoigu and many high-ups at the Ministry of Defense (MOD). Many of the MOD officials will be changing roles or getting sent elsewhere after this coup attempt.
We know $6.2 billion went “missing” from the US federal government a few days before this happened.
We also know around 8,000 Wagner forces managed to get even closer to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev by cutting away from Moscow and going west.
This may have been US and NATO-backed. It may have been Putin-backed and it may have been mainly personal for Prigozhin. It also may have been a combination of these three elements.
Putin says Wagner was entirely financed by the Russian state through the MOD and the state budget.
From May 2022 to May 2023, the state paid Wagner 86 billion rubles and Prigozhin's catering company earned a further 80 billion, Putin says. pic.twitter.com/nx7bKhwPhM
— max seddon (@maxseddon) June 27, 2023
The Bottom Line
Russia is no closer to being defeated in its war against Ukraine, Prigozhin is off without consequences, and Putin is doing just fine. This was far from a victory for the West.
This article appeared in FreshOffThePress and has been published here with permission.
Since Wagner's music was deleted from the English speaking internet will upload the music videos I was talking about here to inform people as to what I was talking about.
— Callum (@AkkadSecretary) June 27, 2023