A tank stuck in the circus gate in Rostov-on-Don – the perfect metaphor for today’s Russia. (Stringer / Reuters)
This was the most remarkable aspect of the whole day: Nobody seemed to mind, particularly, that a brutal new warlord had arrived to replace the existing regime—not the security services, not the army, and not the general public.Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic
They were going to dismantle PMC Wagner. We came out on 23 June to the March of Justice. In a day, we walked to nearly 200km away from Moscow. In this time, we did not spill a single drop of blood of our fighters. Now, the moment has come when blood may spill. That’s why, understanding the responsibility for spilling Russian blood on one of the sides, we are turning back our convoys and going back to field camps according to the plan.” Audio: https://t.me/concordgroup_official/1303Prigozhin
Wikipedia “Putin’s chef” Yevgeny Prigozhin (62, born in St. Petersburg), “a convicted thief who lives by the moral code of Russia’s professional criminal caste” and became a Russian Oligarch who built up his catering company through public contracts that included Vladimir Putin’s state dinners. © Misha Japaridze/AP
Prigozhin now controls a network of influential companies, including the Russian state-backed mercenary company Wagner Group and three companies accused of interference in the 2016 and 2018 U.S. elections. According to a 2022 investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider, and Der Spiegel, Prigozhin’s activities “are tightly integrated with Russia’s Defence Ministry and its intelligence arm, the GRU.”
After years of denying his links to Wagner, he confirmed on 26 September 2022 that he was its founder. He stated that he founded it in May 2014 to support Russian forces in the war in Donbas. This admission was prompted by a viral video in which Prigozhin was shown in a Mari El prison recruiting inmates, promising them freedom if they served six months with the Wagner Group. Operations expanded to Syria and Africa and became a key player in the 2022 Ukraine War. – His troops led a successful campaign to take Bakhmut earlier this year. – Now leading rebellion against Putin and Russia’s military.
Prigozhin had long denied his role in Russian interference in the U.S. elections in 2016. Mueller indicted him. In November 2022, however, he admitted his role in such operations, saying they would continue. In February 2023, he stated he was the founder and long-time manager of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company accused of online propaganda operations.
On June 23., 2023, Prigozhin launched a mutiny against the Russian military leadership and announced he was moving his forces into Russia.
Dmitry Medvedev has transformed from a nuclear warmonger to nuclear restraint champion in 24 hours. What a coup can do. The only sign of stability and continuity in the Russian government is that Medvedev appears drunk.
From Twitter: Shortest Wagner I’ve ever seen.
Russia lost 7 planes and helis today . . . to Russia.
Wagner forces managed a near unopposed road march of over 800km in 18 hours, nearly reaching Moscow, downing multiple Russian helicopters and an extremely valuable fixed-wing platform, all while only losing a single truck.
Now imagine Blackwater killing 13 US pilots, capturing Philadelphia and Baltimore, threatening to attack Washington DC, and in the end, Joe Biden just acts like nothing happened and forgives them.
Prigozhin denies Russia’s favorite myth that Ukraine shelled occupied parts of Donbas for eight years. He “reveals” Ukraine was not about to attack Russia by 24th February.
The angles of Prigozhin’s attacks on Shoigu and Russian defense ministry are becoming wider and deeper.… pic.twitter.com/4Ka2sAhC7V
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) June 23, 2023
— 🌻 Fertilizer Finder 🌻 (@ManiacMagic1) June 23, 2023
Just wow. A video has surfaced showing Prigozhin at the Southern Military District HQ in Rostov-on-Don talking to (and HUMILIATING) Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-bek Yevkurov. He threatens to blockade Rostov and head for Moscow!
I have extreme trouble understanding Yevkurov and… pic.twitter.com/jGr9gaLB1i
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) June 24, 2023