Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, ‘n Guns blog,
After this weekend’s whirlwind events in Russia we’re left with a lot more questions than answers about what happened with Wagner Group’s Yevgeny Prigozhin’s abortive rebellion against Moscow. I’m not here to answer any of those questions definitively because we’ll never really know.
That said, if what I think happened is anything close to the truth then this may be one of the greatest non-battlefield victories in modern history.
Let’s start with what we know. Prigozhin’s been running his mouth for months about lack of support from the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) while his boys did all the heavy lifting in Bakhmut. His issues with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu are pretty well known. It’s also likely that there’s zero love loss between Prigozhin and General Valeri Gerasimov either.
Pissing contests between military commanders are not unheard of, after all.
You could easily make the argument that Wagner was brought in to clean up the mess made by Shoigu while Gerasimov undertook the bigger task to reorient the Russian military away from Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) towards an infantry-focused army more capable of taking and holding territory.
There is this looming war with NATO after all.
You could also easily make the argument that his successes left Prigozhin in a position to demand changes and for him to begin getting a big head.
Now, let’s bring in the external factor here, the enemy, NATO.
But really it is the US/UK neoconservatives who have been the ones spending every waking hour punching Russia in the face with blatant escalatory moves to try and draw Russia and Putin offside.
Nordstream 2, the Kerch Strait Bridge bombing, the staged massacre at Bucha, the Kakhovka dam explosion, the attacks at Belgorod, the arms smuggling into Odessa under the auspice of the ‘Grain deal…” The list is nearly endless.
We heard reports of the Russian FSB thwarting a smuggling operation of Cesium-137 into Ukraine to simulate a nuclear weapons attack. Salt some of this stuff to taste, but in the world I’ve come to live in there is almost nothing, no dirty trick low enough, that in desperation the Brits and their American co-conspirators would not attempt.
In my worldview MI6 and the British Defense Ministry spend all day, everyday coming up with a new way to justify a wider conflict between NATO and Russia. The destruction and balkanization of Russia has, after all, been their raison d’etre for more than 300 years.
And, so far, that heuristic has been almost perfectly accurate in predicting where things would go next.
So, let’s cut through all the bullshit about this, shall we?
In no way was this an organic affair. It’s been building for months. But what’s been building?
A guy like Prigozhin could easily become massively disheartened with Russia’s leadership. Could it be to the point of him taking up arms against Putin? Well, that’s certainly what a lot of people wanted us to believe this weekend.
And I’m in no way suggesting that it isn’t possible or even probable. It is the most likely story.
Now factor in the stories floating around out there that Prigozhin was bribed with billions for Wagner to stage his insurrection. Would anyone be surprised by this if it were ever found out?
What? The CIA with suitcases of cash for some foreign malcontent with delusions of grandeur?
The deuce you say!!
Remember folks, since we live in a world of dis- if not mal-information we have to concoct stories that fit what few facts we have along with assessing such basic things as motive, means and opportunity.
NATO or Bust
Moreover, things are accelerating into the July 11-12th NATO Summit, where it is obvious the neocons are pushing for a statement or policy change that will be the ultimate punch in the mouth for Putin.
It will be one he cannot ignore because it will violate a major red line which he has laid out with stunning clarity.
Those are either Ukraine’s accession into the EU or NATO, one begets the other. For anyone thinking they are not one and the same thing, please turn in your geopolitics street cred card with the usher by the door.
But this is exactly what is being pushed by the most openly hostile members of NATO — namely UK Foreign Minister James Cleverly and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. At the same time the Brits are nearly as mad at President Joe Biden as they are at Putin himself.
Why? Because Biden is the one that blocked UK Defense Minister (and IQ 60 mouth-breathing moron!) Ben Wallace from taking over for Jens Stoltenberg as NATO’s General Secretary. This was supposed to happen next month. It’s been put on hold and Stoltenberg has been urged by Biden to stay on for another year.
The Brits are pushing the world into war.
Wallace becoming NATO Chief would ensure this.
The only good news here is that France’s military, as much as likely the American’s, would rather be caught dead in a bathroom with an underaged hooker and pile of blow than have a Brit running this war.
It’s clear have promised everyone a piece of the pie after Russia is defeated in Ukraine. The Poles get back Lvov and parts of Belarus. Ukrainian Right Sector thugs get to wipe out Russians in the Donbass, Hungary gets Transcarphia (to Viktor Orban’s credit he doesn’t want it on these terms), Georgia gets the Caucuses…. etc.
They are being cheered on by serial Death Eaters Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal, who this week penned a bipartisan resolution to widen the scope of NATO’s Article 5 to include not only Russia’s use of a tactical nuke but also any radiation that resulted from a nuclear accident.
Really, Lindsey, like we can’t see the setup here at it pertains to the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant?
The bribes have been flying around everywhere. And Wallace as NATO chief would ensure that the final iteration of Britain’s ‘divide and rule’ strategy would work. But Biden said no.
And that’s the piece to this puzzle that tells me we’ve reached the crescendo of this nonsense.
That maybe, just maybe, the Pentagon and even Davos are getting off this train.
Putin – Lucky, Smart or Both?
With all of that in your back pocket now let’s look at this weekend’s events.
Here’s you quick and dirty list of hits:
Prigozhin may or may not have been bribed by the CIA/MI6 with money and dreams of ruling the Caucuses. Long a dream of the Brits to deny Russia the oil and gas from that region.
Oil, gas and coal Ukraine and Europe desperately need.
He comes out with some ridiculous statement about Putin lying about the reasons for this war.
He also implicates the Russian MoD in dispersing Wagner
He begins the March to Moscow.
There are unconfirmed reports of helicopters being shot down. Fighting, etc.
The Neocons go into absolute overdrive that this is the end for Putin.
Twitter becomes unreadable
Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov comes out in full support of Putin
So too, the Russian Ministry of Defense.
There are no defectors from the Russian military
There are small kerfluffles in St. Pete and Moscow
Putin comes out and makes his speech denouncing Prigozhin as a ‘traitor.’ He is as angry as I’ve ever seen him.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko negotiates with Prigozhin and within an hour the whole thing is over.
What started out as the ‘Fall of the Evil Russian Empire’ ended with “Suck what?” in a matter of hours.
The Neocons went from drooling in anticipation to crying in their lattes in about 15 minutes.
The final outcome is the real head scratcher if you believe for a moment that Prigozhin wasn’t someone’s puppet — Putin’s or Western Intelligence agencies.
Wagner forces would be moved to Belarus. All charges of insurrection would be dropped for those that marched. Those that stood down and didn’t back Prigozhin would be offered contracts with the Russian military directly.
Prigozhin would not be executed as a traitor.
Now, are you buying any of this? But these are the announced facts. And while the Neocons would like you to believe “this isn’t over.” Putin’s been weakened. The reality here is far, far different.
So, here are three likely scenarios as to what really happened. They are not, however, comprehensive.
#1 Prigozhin Really Rebelled
With the backing of the West, Prigozhin pushes all in. Sensing that their attempts on Putin’s rule would be successful because of assurances that hardliners in Russia have his back the CIA/MI6 go for the gold. Prigozhin’s still in a hyper-combative state, angry and distraught over Shoigu’s incompetence and Putin’s passivity.
Since backstabbing is not unheard of in the Russian oligarchy, he’s convinced of the plot against him. There may even be some money and promises of him ruling in Rostov-on-Don under the balkanization of Russia carrot dangled in front of him.
He hopes for a wider uprising against Putin’s rule, doesn’t get it, and quickly is put down.
Putin knew all about all of this, as did the West, and, like his swift moves to put down Nasarbaev’s attempt to get back into power in Kakakhstan in January of 2022 (with the obvious backing of the CIA/MI6), he gave Prigozhin all the rope he needed to hang himself.
If Prigozhin disappears in the next few weeks we’ll have a better answer.
#2 Prigozhin Set Everyone Up
Prigozhin begins his ‘anti-MoD’ ranting a day or two after securing Bakhmut and begins playing into the fever dreams of the West that the hardliners are ready to dump Putin for his passivity. This isn’t implausible. There are many in Russia who are angry with Putin for not punching back.
Attacks like Nordstream and Kerch are designed to lose Putin ‘face.’ It’s no different than Nancy Piglosi going to Taiwan for China. Make Xi lose face, get Chinese big mad. Win.
Loss of face is a big deal in domestic politics of these countries. But, at the same time, you have to realize that Putin’s been cleaning out Russia of western assets. The main reason why we know that “Putin jails reporters” is because those reporters who were jailed were foreign intelligence assets, not journalists.
Over the years of doing this, surviving multiple assassination attempts and passing laws banning NGOs, Putin has cleaned up the streets in Moscow. For this reason you have to assume that our ground game there is really weak.
It’s not hard to believe that Prigozhin could help feed them all the bullshit they wanted to hear. We are talking about people increasingly desperate to get this war past the point of no return and Putin refuses to give it to them.
So, with that background it’s easy to believe that Prigozhin sets the hook for a few months, even goes so far to take a few billion in ‘lost money’ to seal the deal.
He stages the walk out, gets on the road and ‘negotiates’ a settlement at the exact moment when his convoy would have had to make a left and go to Belarus anyway.
Scenario #3 – A Strategic Reallocation
For the past ten years I’ve watched Putin engage the West’s false flags and provocations and turn them into strategic victories by veering from the whiteboard script at GCHQ and Langley.
He prefers engaging in ‘parallel aggression’ — proportionally making a move to counter some other act of open aggression.
So, with that parallel aggression idea in your head here’s the scenario:
If you know that NATO is getting ready to widen the conflict next month and the British are supplying Ukraine with Storm Shadow missiles to soften up Crimea while the UAF struggles to make headway in the misnamed “counter-offensive,” then wouldn’t you want your best and battle-hardened troops strategically placed to respond if things go sideways?
Look at the outcome of Prigozhin’s Rebellion. Wagner is now in Belarus. The disloyal ones are cannon fodder to soak up anything Poland tries to do.
The rest are positioned to make a move on Kiev if anyone gets silly ideas of going after Crimea.
With the UAF getting ground into paste as the attacker down south, a bad situation for them gets worse now that Putin has an army he can use in Belarus.
Remember, legally, this isn’t a war. Putin doesn’t have a free hand to do certain things under the auspice of an SMO. This is why Wagner has been so important to events thus far.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say a whole lotta folks coming off their Russian military contracts may be ‘reassigned to Wagner’ in the next couple of weeks to bolster their ranks.
Your move, NATO.
Oh, and just to remind everyone, Belarus now has tactical nuclear weapons that Putin just announced he moved into country. Does he trust Wagner enough to give them those nukes? I’m not touching that one with Lindsey Graham’s dick.
And the truth is that none of these scenarios fully cover what’s happening or even what’s happened. The fate of Sergei Shoigu hasn’t been resolved. The hardliners may get their wish with a new Defense Minister of a more Prigozhin-esque character.
You can pick bits and pieces of these scenarios out and reassemble them like Legos and you’ll have something interesting and worth considering.
But it’s hard to argue with the final outcome. A big military unit with real combat experience under the harshest conditions are now stationed within 150 miles of Kiev potentially armed with tac nukes while Putin just sniffed out a another layer of 5th and 6th columnists who outed themselves in their zeal to kill Russians with American money.
“Good? Bad? I’m the guy with the gun.”
– ASH, ARMY OF DARKNESS
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