Whatever happened to the Wagner Rebellion?

Lots of conspiracy theories abound. And there probably is a lot more to this story than meets the eye. However my own gut feeling (and it is just that): This was essentially a massive cock up. I’m reminded of Hanlon’s Razor:-

Never ascribe to malice anything that can adequately be explained by stupidity…

Russia managed to bomb an alleged 2000 Wagner troops, who were fighting on its behalf, in a crude attempt to bring Wagner to heel. I suspect the true number killed was significantly fewer than 2000. But even so, bombing the most effective troops fighting for your side is pretty bloody daft.

Prigozhin decided to retaliate but found he got less and less support as he headed north towards Moscow. Prigozhin may be evil, but he’s not stupid and knew he could not win. Again my suspicion is the only Russians lives Wagner Group was worried about was those of its own.

We still don’t know the full details of the deal. As the old saying goes “the devil is in the detail”. Though according to some sources, part of the deal is that the leadership of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation will resign, whilst charges against Prigozhin would be dropped and he and his mob will leave Russia to focus on “projects in Africa”.

However, neither side in this fiasco is exactly what one would describe as “trustworthy”. Indeed, some observers are suggesting it’s safer to regard this as a “ceasefire” rather than a “permanent end to hostilities”.

What it has done is diminish Putin’s standing very significantly – aside from the roads the Russians tore up, they also lost seven aircraft. It would also seem that when things looked a bit dangerous, brave Mr Putin bravely buggered off. This is not a good look on the “world stage”.

It also made Wagner look like a right bunch of Charlies too, with its offices raided and money seized – interesting to see if Wagner gets that back as part of the deal. In any event, Wagner has lost its lucrative contract with the Russian government, certainly for the time being.

Only people who do seem to have gained – at least in the short term – appear to be the Ukrainians. Which can’t be a bad thing, IMHO. And if Wagner really does bugger off to Africa then this is potentially very good news for Ukraine indeed.

Edit: As the deal becomes clearer, it seems that whilst Wagner will move its operations to Africa, Prigozhin himself will move to Belarus – though it is currently unclear exactly why.

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