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Russia. Prigozhin and the rebellion of the Wagner group – what next? Western media comment

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Vladimir Putin has faced what every tyrant faces: the unleashed demons of war have returned home, the American daily “Washington Post” assessed. The German daily Tagesspiegel stated that “for Ukraine, Saturday’s chaos in Russia is good news.” “Putin wanted to become the tsar, and meanwhile he is facing the specter of a new Russian revolution,” commented the Italian daily “Corriere della Sera” on the events of the last hours.

Vladimir Putin does not forgive traitors, so it is possible that we will hear about the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin soon Belarus Jill Dougherty, former CNN bureau chief in Russiacommenting on Saturday’s revolt by the owner of the mercenary Wagner Group against the Kremlin.

“However, this is a serious dilemma for Moscow. The Wagnerian leader enjoys some support and, regardless of where he is, remains a threat,” she added.

CNN stressed that although Putin survived the threat, his political position is now weak – not only in the eyes of his enemies and most of the world, but also his supporters and the army.

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“If I were Putin, I’d be worried about the people who applauded the Wagner Group mercenaries in Rostov-on-Don,” Dougherty noted.

READ MORE: The Kremlin and Prigozhin have an agreement. What’s in it?

“Washington Post”: Putin faced what every tyrant faces – the demons of war have returned home

Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin faced what every tyrant faces: the unleashed demons of war have returned home, the Washington Post reported.

“Napoleon never imagined that the invasion of Russia would lead to his exile and the restoration of the monarchy in France. Hitler never imagined that the invasion of Poland would lead to his suicide and the division of Germany. Saddam Hussein never imagined that the invasion of Kuwait will ultimately lead to his overthrow and death.

Yevgeny PrigozhinPAP/Newscom

“The dictator’s illusion of control can easily collapse – especially if his war escalates into a protracted bloody conflict of attrition, as is currently the case in Ukraine,” it added.

The “WP” commentator noted that the Putin-led regime turned out to be more fragile than it looked from the outside.

“It has always been about skillfully managing rival centers of power, pitting oligarchs (and various centers of influence) against each other – so as to be the final arbiter in decision-making. This model worked for two decades, but it is collapsing under the pressure of losing the war, crushing and destroying the Russian army,” the newspaper explained.

SEE ALSO: Matysiak: everyone is wondering how long Prigozhin will live

“WP” reminded that the Wagner Group was not in the vanguard of the Russian invasion against Ukraine from its beginning, but gained more and more importance with the defeats of the regular Russian army.

“Prigozhin became more powerful, power seemed to go to his head, and he started posting videos mocking the Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff. He called them cowards and criminals; accused of not supplying enough artillery shells to his forces, ignoring the fact that the Russian military has limited supplies and understandably prioritizes its own troops.

Andrzej Zaucha: astonishment and surprise in Kiev after the rebellion of Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner Group TVN24, Reuters

“It seemed that Putin did not mind. He probably imagined that the competition for military progress in Ukraine would be to his advantage,” assessed the American daily. “Prigozhin, like Julius Caesar, crossed the Rubicon, his people went to Rostov-on-Don on Saturday. Later that day the Wagnerian convoy went to Moscow” – reminded “WP”.

Although Prigozhin’s rebellion was ultimately averted, “the crisis exposed the regime’s instability and shook its aura of (undivided) power.” “There is a lesson in this for all tyrants who might think of starting an attack. Xi Jinping?” – concluded the journal, addressing the leader of China.

“Tagesspiegel”: chaos in Russia is good news for Ukraine

The German daily Tagesspiegel estimated that Putin’s plan to seize Kiev within a few days and restore control over parts of the former Russian empire resulted in columns of mercenaries wanting to storm Moscow on Saturday, and Ukraine regained a piece of land occupied for almost 10 years.

“Is the ruler of the Kremlin capable of self-reflection in such moments?” the German commentators ask rhetorically.

“After Yevgeny Prigozhin ordered his mercenaries to retreat, the Kremlin announced that both the case against Prigozhin would be dropped, and the Wagner Group fighters involved in this action would go unpunished. However, Prigozhin must go into exile in Belarus,” the portal recalled. journal.

“Putin and Prigozhin – two men who act solely on the basis of the law of force and violence – have suddenly become very weak. It is unlikely that both of them will forgive each other for this moment” – it was emphasized.

“For Ukraine, Saturday’s chaos in Russia is good news. Putin is weakened, and so far it is unclear whether the new leadership of the Wagner Group – now probably the defense ministry – can repeat previous successes on the battlefield. The Russian general staff was too hated by many mercenaries. So Wagner can go down in history,” noted Tagesspiegel.

“It’s hard to imagine Prigozhin playing a (important) role in Russia again. But who knows, maybe this chapter is not closed at all,” the daily noted, recalling that when Prigozhin left his quarters in Rostov-on-Don to go to Belarus, he was applauded by local residents.

Yevgeny Prigozhin leaves Rostov-on-Don ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO / Reuters / Forum

Italian press: drama or farce, but the attempted rebellion in Russia has weakened Putin and will change this country

Whether the Wagner Group’s attempted armed revolt by the Wagner Group mercenaries is a “drama or a farce”, it is a confirmation of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine, and a breakthrough that has forever changed and weakened the image of Vladimir Putin and will change Russia at the same time – this is the challenge to the Kremlin by Yevgeny Prigozhin commented on the Italian press.

See also: Situation in Russia and Ukraine. Live coverage on tvn24.pl

“Putin wanted to become the tsar, and meanwhile he is facing the specter of a new Russian revolution,” Corriere della Sera commented on the events of the last hours. The daily stressed that Russia is in chaos.

According to the largest Italian newspaper, “Russia is once again heading towards the next catastrophic chapter of which its recent history is composed.” The daily noted that the rebel leader will go to Belarus under the agreement, and his soldiers will not be judged, but “the image of Tsar Putin” has changed forever. The analysis of the attempted rebellion also notes that it is unclear whether Prigozhin would have enough support to continue it.

“Prigozhin’s rebellion, initially aimed at the incompetence and corruption of military leaders, turned into a rebellion against the Russian authorities and the president,” noted the Milanese daily. As he assessed, what happened was “the story of a coup d’état that almost didn’t happen.”

The daily La Repubblica wrote that there was a clash between the “weak Tsar Putin” and “a populist of violence”, as Prigozhin calls it. “Putin has never been exposed to such risks before, and now his power may crumble,” noted the columnist of the title and added: “in his twenty years in power, Putin has survived various crises, but during the Wagner Group’s march on Russia, which did not encounter any resistance, showed the nation and the world his fragility; now some rebel from the elite can take advantage of it.”

“He was afraid of revolution in the satellite republics, but he ignored the fact that he was breeding a man of revenge on his chest. Yevgeny Prigozhin is his work. He owed everything to him, and he became Frankenstein, who rebelled against his creator,” commentator of the Roman newspaper assessed, according to whose attempted rebellion was “an almost fatal blow to Putin in front of the world.”

“Fragile and unable to react, this is the point of no return for Putin,” said La Stampa, which calls the events of the last hours “the Russian revolution.” As she noted, the interrupted mercenary offensive “detracts from the power of the Kremlin.” But it also means, according to the commentator, that Russia is facing disintegration, and that the Wagnerian rebellion is “a coup d’état that has now been declared a break.”

This breakthrough will change Russia, emphasized Il Messaggero, which published an interview with the head of the Italian Foreign Ministry, Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani. He expressed the opinion that Putin is now weaker and is closer to peace in Ukraine.

Main photo source: TVN24

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