By Prof. Silverio Allocca (DIPLOMATICINFO.COM GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST).
In these excitable hours there are many conflicting rumors coming out of the Russian Federation about the alleged, the dubious expression is in order, military pronouncement by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the well-known owner of the private military contractor Wagner Group, who is alleged to have marched his men first to the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don with the intent of proceeding to Moscow to obtain the removal of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is accused of ordering a missile attack against a Wagner quartering in Ukraine that allegedly claimed the lives of 2.000 of his soldiers as documented by a whole series of video and audio recordings circulated online.
As far as Western news agencies have been able to tell, Prigozhin, after setting fire and flames, having arrived 200 kilometers from Moscow, would seem to have decided to back down from his intention to get to Moscow in order “not to shed blood,” which as a motivation seems to me rather ridiculous especially since such an action as the one taken by Prigozhin cannot be improvised and it is unthinkable that someone like the Wagner chief would have realized only after the march had begun the consequences related to such an initiative.
Now the hypotheses as to why this adventure took place can be many and I personally am disinclined to believe that the CIA was behind this action since while it is true that what matters most to a mercenary is money, it is still undeniable that no one in the world could offer Prigozhin more than he already has thanks to Putin and I doubt that Prigozhin could have even thought of carrying out a coup with only 25,000 men to boot without air cover.
In this sense, Zelensky’s statement about the coup attempt highlighting Russia’s “large-scale weakness” also appears even more ridiculous having been taken blatantly from his dreambook-and as such at most highlighting the Ukrainian president’s abysmal incompetence, should there still be a need.
More credible might be the hypothesis that would see both Prigozhin and Putin interested in checking the behavior of Russian FFAA exponents in order to assess who they can trust and who they cannot in order to proceed with a nice purge among the Muscovite leadership cadres and put an end to the activity of those in Russia who are rowing against the Central Government according to a scenario already seen enacted in Turkey in 2016.
This in my opinion would seem to be the most credible hypothesis since the logistical shortcomings that on the Bakhmut front saw Wagner having to deal with 70% shortages in the supply of weapons and ammunition cannot have been accidental, just as the missile attack conducted against Prigozhin’s troops, who does not really seem to be interested in Ukraine’s victory, was certainly not accidental.
Confirming this reading is the news emanating from the Kremlin that Prigozhim will go to Belarus and will not be tried in the same way as the men who participated in the march on Moscow who were granted Amnesty.
That being the case, I think things can only get worse for Ukraine.