Are we going to have a nuclear power in a civil war?
That might roil the markets.
Are we going to have a nuclear power in a civil war?
That might roil the markets.
This is bad news for Putin any way you cut it. Putin can loose his ally. Putin can see the army rise up. Putin can make bad orders for his army which would cause Putin’s untimely death.
Nothing about this is good for Putin and there is no stopping it. This is Russia coming undone.
As I mentioned back in September 2022 here The Sorrows of Empire - Redux , Russia is repeating a cycle ingrained in its history…
This failure of imagination on Putin’s part was already foreseen months ago. A piece in The New Yorker (discussed here ) three weeks into the war outlined a repeating pattern of dysfunction in Russian history dating back centuries:
This is the Putin kleptocracy in bullet form. These represent the controlling dynamic in Russia since Putin took power.
With this dynamic in place, there is ZERO possibility of anything remotely resembling a peaceful transfer of power. This dynamic self-selects for the most corrupt, ruthless, paranoid and megalomaniacal behavior in those that make it to the top of the pyramid. Expecting anything better to fill in the vacuum after the inevitable collapse of Putin’s control makes as much sense as our pipe dream of bringing western democracy to Iraq. This isn’t a literal DNA level argument that those in the current footprint of “Russia” are biologically incapable of democracy. It’s a reflection of how much democracy is aided or thwarted by the language and culture of those attempting to implement or maintain it. If all of your great literature and pop culture reflect cynicism, brutality and fatalism, it’s difficult to replace it with ideas of justice and betterment.
In contrast, America’s democratic history didn’t start at a Tea Party in Boston Harbor or a stuffy Hall in Philadelphia in 1776. Settlers of America were given freedoms and refined different approaches for local self government for more than 160 years prior forming a new union. And even with more than 160 years of parallel experimentation in up to 13 separate colonies, even America didn’t nail the first launch. “America v1.0” (Articles of Confederation) was a horribly ineffective “release” and required a complete refactoring for "American v2.0 " (Constitution of 1789).
Of course, this, like the previous western reports of friction between Putin and Prigozhin, come with a credibility problem. It is too convenient when western, particularly nationalist western factions, are starting to question supporting Ukraine, to float rumors that collapse in Russia might bring a quick end to the war.
“It’s a stab in the back to the country and the president,” he said. “It’s impossible to imagine a stronger blow to the image of Russia and its armed forces. Such a provocation could only be staged by enemies of Russia.”
I am left with one opinion. No one is a friend of Russia’s willingly. There is just hatred of Russia. Hopefully most Russians know why there is so much hatred.
Wagner is about 25k men. They will run out of fuel and ammo quickly.
Turns out the Russian military is more able than we thought.
That does not mean the western intelligence wont arm the Ukrainian military with much better intelligence.
Meanwhile as few Ukrainians as possible are being lost as probing of Russian positions keeps on killing Russian forces.
I have zero pity for anyone on the Russian side. Turn and run and I would respect you. Those who went into exile were the brave.
I take any news coming out of Russia with a grain of salt.
And that grain is the size of the rock trying to squish Indiana Jones.
All I know is that this is great news for BRICS.
Keeping in mind nobody knows nothing at this point, there is some pretty amazing footage on Twitter and Telegram of what appear to be Wagner troops in Rostov.
The colonists were certainly drawing on the English and larger Western tradition of democracy. They also were influenced by the democracy of the neighboring Iroquois Confederacy or Haudenosaunee. The Haudenosaunee democracy is maybe the oldest existing democracy on Earth, Wikipedia gives founding dates ranging from 1142 (awfully precise) and 1450 to 1660.
The colonists knew all about Haudenosaunee democracy. Benjamin Franklin writes about them in 1751 and Haudenosaunee government officials were invited to address the Continental Congress in 1776. In 1988 Congress passed a resolution “to acknowledge the contribution of the Iroquois Confederacy of Nations to the development of the United States Constitution and to reaffirm the continuing government-to-government relationship between Indian tribes and the United States established in the Constitution”.
The meltdown and looming civil strife in Russia is appearing more like a really bad Russian-language remake of Apocolypse Now, with Prigozhin as Colonel Kurtz. If you recall, Kurtz was the US general operating deep within enemy territory who was driven crazy by war in a way that led him to rationalize butchery as a means of winning / ending a war rather than having it drag on. As Capt Willard (Martin Sheen) tracks him down with his crew and reads his lunatic ramblings to prep himself for his mission to “terminate his command”, he almost begins thinking Kurtz’s philosophy of war is sane… Until he meets him.
The west can’t read into Putin or Prigozhin any rationality to selfishly leverage for western goals of stability / certainty. Once the lid opens the tiniest bit, it will be impossible to predict what the next steady state will look like or how long it will be before it arrives.
Well, a few things reported by the BBC tonight:
-Warrant issued for Prigozhin’s arrest.
-Military vehicles patrolling the streets of Moscow.
-Kremlin seems to be taking the threat seriously
Wagner is wildly outnumbered on the ground, lacks heavy weapons and air support. If Prigozhin is attempting a coup, he’s cooked, unless large numbers of the Russian military mutiny and join him.
Former Ambassador Taylor was interviewed. He said, essentially, at this point, we know nothing for sure.
Goes down better with a shot of Vodka! Salt goes with Tequila.
Wagner is heading towards Moscow. The Russian troops in their way are not putting up any resistance.
Where are you seeing that?
You think Prigozhin would go after Putin and the military would stand aside? Wild but possibly question.
It was on one of the many news programmes. Apparently the Ukraine war has ‘hollowed out’
the military within Russia.
It would make sense for Wagner to move quickly, otherwise they will be sitting targets if Russia gets its act together. Very confusing:
British intelligence: Wagner fighters move north, target Moscow - Russia
The BBC have just said that helicopters have opened fire on Wagner troops moving up the M4 motorway.
Could be a big mistake:
Field Marshall Montgomery on the rules of war:
Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: “Do not march on Moscow”.
The situation is not without precedent. I remember when the Romanian and Iranian army rank and file mutinied against Ceaușescu and the Shah, and joined the rebels.
Juntas in Argentina and Greece tried to wag the dog, and were themselves overthrown.
Russian troops that have already been in the Ukrainian meat grinder, and those heading to Ukraine, may decide the best way to stay alive is get rid of Putin.
It is starting to look like something is afoot. Alleged public statements by Putin should be easy to confirm.
Even if they don’t join the rebels but merely stand to one side…
Here’s another rumor to chew on. Lukashenko needed Putin’s support to put down the beginnings of an uprising a few years ago. What would Lukashenko do if he looses his backbone? Then I saw this.
In other words, everyone knows something.
Well, one of them (Putin and Prigozhin) will not survive this episode. My guess is if Putin survives, he will die shortly from a heart attack (via a hypodermic needle to his neck).
Putin has made 2 huge mistakes; invading Ukraine and allowing Wagner (a war-hardened group of mercenaries) to be created. The FSB can’t be real happy at the moment.
We’re watching history in the making. Both frightening and fascinating at the same time.