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Prigozhin’s rebellion – what was he planning? The Russian general knew about the plans of the owner of the Wagner Group – the American media

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The New York Times, citing US officials, reported that Russian general Sergei Surovikin knew that Yevgeny Prigozhin was planning a mutiny against the military command. In turn, the “Wall Street Journal”, citing Western officials, wrote that the plan of the owner of the Wagner Group was to capture Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the Chief of the General Staff General Valery Gerasimov, but the Federal Security Service had learned about his intentions earlier.

US officials told the New York Times they are now trying to determine whether General Sergei Surovikin helped Yevgeny Prigozhin plan Saturday’s mutiny, the most serious threat to Putin’s 23-year rule so far.

Surovikin, who until January led the activities of the Russian army in Ukraineis a commander respected by the soldiers and still has an influence on the conduct of military operations.

The Wagner Group revolt hour by hour. This is how Prigozhin challenged Putin. He finally laid down his weaponAngelika Maj/Facts after noon TVN24

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According to US officials, there are indications that other Russian generals may have supported Prigozhin’s attempt to forcibly change the leadership of the defense ministry. According to CNN sources, Prigozhin would not have decided to rebel if he did not think that high-ranking people could support him.

What will Putin do?

If Surovikin had a hand in Prigozhin’s rebellion, it would be another sign of internal struggles within the military leadership Russiawhich have been going on since Moscow initiated the war against Ukraine. It could also signal a deeper rift between Prigozhin’s supporters and two of Putin’s military advisers: the defense minister Sergei Shoigu and the chief of the general staff, General Warleri Gerasimov, wrote “NYT”.

Sergei Surovikinmil.ru

According to US officials, Putin must now decide whether to believe that Surovikin was helping Prigozhin. If there is evidence of this, he will have no choice but to be removed from his functions.

According to analysts, it seems that Putin intends to blame Prigozhin alone for the rebellion. – Putin is reluctant to change people. But if the secret services put a briefcase on his desk and if it proves Surovikin’s involvement, that could change, said Alexander Baunov of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center.

As the New York Times wrote, after the publication of the article, the spokesman of the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov he gave a “succinct” answer and stressed that the Russian army and people had united around Putin.

“WSJ”: Prigozhin planned to detain Defense Minister Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Gerasimov

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal, citing Western officials, reported that Yevgeny Prigozhin’s plan was to capture Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff General Valery Gerasimov, but the FSB had learned about his intentions earlier.

General Sergei Surovikin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu PAP/EPA/GAVRIIL GRIGOROV/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN/POOL

According to the plans, which Western intelligence agencies were to learn in advance from intercepted messages and satellite images, Prigozhin initially intended to kidnap Shoigu and Gerasimov during their planned visit to Rostov. However, when he learned that his plot had been leaked to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) two days before it was scheduled to start, he decided to act early, improvising an alternative plan. The Wagnerians had previously amassed large stocks of ammunition, fuel and heavy equipment.

After Prigozhin announced his “march of justice”, he said in published audio recordings that “Shoigu ran away from Rostov like a dog.” After seizing the headquarters of the Southern Military District in this city, he also demanded a “conversation” with the Minister of Defense and Gerasimov.

“WSJ”: Prigozhin’s initial plan had a good chance of success

Western representatives quoted by the newspaper assessed that Prigozhin’s initial plan had a good chance of success, but was ruined by a leak to the FSB. However, the fact that despite the prior knowledge of the Russian services, the head of the Wagner Group was able to seize Rostov and reach as far as Moscow, “raises questions about the extent of Putin’s power.”

The daily reported that the plan of the oligarch, known as “Putin’s cook”, was based on the belief that part of the Russian military would join the rebellion. Like the New York Times, WSJ reported that Prigozhin informed the head of the Russian Air Force, General Sergei Surovikin, who is considered close to the Wagnerians, about his plans.

Wagner Group mercenaries PAP/EPA

The newspaper quoted former Russian Defense Ministry official and now blogger Mikhail Zvinchuk known as “Rybar” as saying that the Wagner rebellion had caused a major purge within the Russian military.

According to the quoted Western officials, the march would have ended in an armed confrontation in Moscow if it had not been for the mediation of Alyaksandr Lukashenko. The Belarusian dictator allegedly offered the Wagnerians to be stationed in his country “partly to bolster his own security against a possible Russian incursion” and to have them serve as his “personal security guarantor”.


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