Main image above © Ben Garrison – https://grrrgraphics.com/
It was like manna from heaven for the anti-Russian Western press last month when Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Russian funded mercenary military force known as Wagner, moved his troops from their camps in Ukraine to the regional military command in the southern Russian garrison city Rostov-on-Don. It seems that Prigozhin was pretty mad about what he claimed was an attack by Moscow on his men on the frontline in Ukraine.
Salivating at the prospect of a bloody Russian revolution, Russophobic Western hacks reported these actions as an attempted military coup d’etat to topple ‘Vlad the Bad:’ president of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
A rough timeline of events.
- 23rd June 2023
- Prigozhin posts video footage on Telegram, claiming to be evidence of a Wagner camp being struck deliberately by Russian forces, killing dozens of men. Prigozhin declares a ‘march of justice’ against Sergey Shoigu: Russian Minister of defence & Valery Gerasimov: Russian Chief of the General Staff.
- Prigozhin moves thousands of his most loyal mercenaries, and hundreds of pieces of heavy equipment to the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.
- Russian FSB security service opened criminal case against Prigozhin for inciting armed rebellion.
- 24th June 2023
- 07.00 hrs approx. Prigozhin and his armed soldiers surround the southern military district headquarters in Rostov-on-Don.
- 07.30 hrs approx. Prigozhin says that his forces have taken the city and captured the deputy defence minister: Yunus-bek Yevkurov. In a forced meeting Prigozhin told him that men died because “you treat them like meat – no ammo, no plan.”
- 10:38 hrs approx. Putin makes an emergency speech to the Russian nation and promises to avert a repeat of 1917 (the Bolshevik revolution.) Putin vows to crush what he called a treasonous mutiny.
- Prigozhin announces that his army are going to march to Moscow. (1,000 km,) to ‘get hold of’ Russian ministers Sergey Shoigu & Valery Gerasimov: The march of troops to Moscow was not opposed.
- Belarus president Victor Lukashenko convinces Prigozhin to turn Wagner column back to their field camps.
- 20:24 hrs approx. 200 km short of Moscow. Prigozhin turned his men around and ordered them to head south for their training camps in Ukraine. Prigozhin’s ‘march of justice’ lasted less than 24 hours from the time it was announced.
- Russian special forces raid one of Prigozhin’s properties in St Petersburg.
- 27th June 2023
- Prigozhin lands in Belarus after he was offered the chance of exile there.
- 29th June 2023
- Russian president Putin is said to have held three hour talks with Prigozhin at the Kremlin.
As this ‘Wagner coup’ unfolded, with no bloodshed, no invasion of Moscow, no downfall of Putin and no Kremlin ministers swinging from lamp posts, the Western media went silent whilst alternative journalists dived in to make some sense of what was going on.
Some former intelligence officers suggested that there was more to this ‘Wagner coup’ than meets the eye.
One interesting analysis that I came across was from Larry Johnson, a former veteran of the CIA and the State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism who has provided training to the US Military’s Special Operations community for 24 years. He speculates that this whole shebang was possibly pure theatre: Maskirovka, Russian military deception, a clever piece of theatre by Putin and Prigozhin to deceive their enemy (USA, NATO, Ukraine) and distract them in order to move Russian & Wagner troops into strategic positions on the frontline or to Belarus whilst the enemy was looking the other way.
Check out the article that he wrote when news of this ‘coup’ was breaking:
‘What if the Prigozhin “Coup” is Maskirovka? I want to explore that possibility. Earlier today (Saturday on the east coast of the U.S.) I was sketching out a piece with the catchy title, “PRIGOZHIN — PUTSCH OR PLOY?” Well, that swell idea was blown away like the Kakhovka Dam when the narrative about the Prigozhin plan to march on Moscow and personally strangle Russian Defense Minister Shoigu went full-on Nadia Comăneci — i.e., back flip. Prigozhin ordered “his” troops back to their bases, cut a deal with the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to go into exile and will face no judicial punishment. WHAT????? No bloodshed? No miles of burning tanks? And no Mussolini neck tie for Vladimir Putin? What the hell?!!‘ READ MORE HERE
Larry Johnson also offers up alternative analysis about the ‘Wagner coup’ in an interview with Judge Napolitano where he suggests that Prigozhin was a double agent.
“This was a Western attempt to try to foment a coup, in Russia. Prigozin was being a participant in double crossing the West. Just like Luca Brasi in the Godfather he went to offer his services to NATO in Ukraine and then he turned it over to Russian intelligence.”
Prigozin is and was a double agent?
“That’s what I believe. Because if he wasn’t, he’d be dead. You cannot betray Russia as he is alleged to have done, and still be walking around alive. Particularly if the number of airmen that are reportedly dead actually happened. I question that. No evidence to substantiate that.”
Check out the interview HERE :
We are unlikely to ever learn the real truth about this debacle. Discussions about the actions taken by Prigozhin and the Wagner PMC on the 23rd – 24th June 2023 will probably get no further than speculation.
Meanwhile, let’s pose the obvious question. Qui Bono – who benefits?
Was it Prigozhin and his Wagner forces, or was it the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky and his backers USA & NATO?
If anything it would seem that Putin, who has served as president or prime minister of Russia for 24 years since 1999 is the one who has gained the most from this so-called mutiny with his approval rating from the Russian people of 82-86% increasing to a dizzy 90%!
How are your approval ratings going Messrs Biden & Zelensky?
Acknowledgement: Thanks to rogue cartoonist Ben Garrison – https://grrrgraphics.com/ – for the use of his artwork at the top of this blog. Thanks also to Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff & Beijing cartoonist Liu Rui – Global Times.
Addendum. 12.08.2023 – An interesting view on this subject in this video: