11.8 C
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Russia, the revolt of the Wagner Group and Yevgeny Prigozhin. Commentary of analysts from the Atlantic Council

Must read

- Advertisement -

The American think tank Atlantic Council assessed that Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rebellion against the Kremlin proved that the Russian system of power is more fragile than ever before. According to analysts, the events of Saturday showed that the elites in Moscow probably no longer even expect to win the war with Ukraine.

“The fact that the rebel forces were able to get this far with little resistance from the authorities and take over Rostov-on-Don – which is also the headquarters of the Russian invasion force attacking Ukraine – proves that the scale of weakness and internal divisions in Putin’s system exceeds all previous imagination. It’s hard to say how the Putin regime can regain its legitimacy after these events,” noted journalist and writer Vladislav Davidzon, a fellow at the Atlantic Council.

As he added, Prigozhin’s rebellion means “the beginning of the end of the war” Russia with Ukraine. “Russian society and Putin’s elite tolerated this war while it was far away. After this farce is over, they will certainly think twice about doing it again,” Davidzon said.


- Advertisement -

“The Russian system is more fragile than ever before”

“Putin’s regime may have survived Prigozhin’s challenge, but almost every aspect of this episode shows that the Russian system is more fragile than ever before. (…) Authoritarian systems like Putin’s are based on creating a sense of invulnerability, and (the revolt of the head of the Wagner Group) has undermined this myth,” noted Atlantic Council expert Doug Klain.

“If Prigozhin does not pay a high price for his rebellion, it will put the Putin regime in grave danger. This will happen because political change in Russia occurs when three factors are present there: a divided elite, a dissatisfied public and a lack of fear of authority. If the fear factor is removed from this equation, the regime will be in dire straits,” said Brian Whitmore, a research fellow at the University of Texas-Arlington.

Finally, this crisis will further weaken Russia’s combat capabilities in Ukraine as Kiev intensifies its counter-offensive. The Russian elites no longer even behave as if they expected to win this war, added Whitmore.

“The Wagner Group insurgency is the most serious challenge to the foundations of the Russian state since 1993, when the parliament revolted against President Boris Yeltsin, who brought in tanks to stop the coup attempt. Prigozhin showed how weak the Putin regime is and how Russia’s leader’s kitchen is capable of placing a nuclear-armed country in the hands of a fragile and extremely dangerous dictatorship of ex-KGB officers and hardened criminals,” noted Atlantic Council analyst Ariel Cohen.

The Wagnerians marched on Moscow, Prigozhin announced a retreat

On Friday, the owner of the mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that troops of the Russian regular army had attacked the camp of his fighters, causing numerous casualties. He announced a “restoration of justice” in the army and demanded the removal from power of the minister of defense in conflict with him Sergey Shoigu. The Wagnerians captured the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don, and then directed their forces to Moscow.

However, after 24 hours on Saturday evening, Prigozhin announced a retreat and the withdrawal of the mercenaries to the field camps to “avoid bloodshed”. This was supposed to be the result of negotiations between the Belarusian authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenko and Prigozhin, conducted in consultation with Vladimir Putin.

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


Source link

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article