RUSSIA – Two powerful mafia members are at each other’s throats. The Russian president is trying to reassure the public that everything is under control. Over the weekend, he obviously wasn’t in charge. Mr. Prigozhin maintains that he was not plotting a coup. He had no intention of overthrowing the Russian administration. In other words, it was a kind of protest. None of these explanations (holds) much water. The fact that the Wagnerian mercenaries responsible for the rebellion were allowed to leave without facing legal consequences or opposition from the Russian security services was conveniently omitted.
Despite several recordings showing residents of the Rostov region cheering on Wagner’s mercenaries and happily clapping the hand of Wagner’s founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Putin bizarrely said that neither the nation nor the country’s military supported the warriors of Wagner in their insurrection. The people “swept into the uprising saw that the army and the people were not with them”, Putin said in his speech on Tuesday.
His statement caused instant consternation in Russian online communities. The popular pro-war Telegram channel known as “Thirteenth” called his posts “News from a parallel reality”. “One of my Chekist friends often told me: ‘The main thing is more confusion.’ “That’s what they call an idea,” said Alexander Sladkov, a pro-Kremlin war correspondent. Some people said the Kremlin seemed to expect it all to go away on its own. A prominent pro-war Russian Telegram group commented, “Not a word has been said about the preconditions for the uprising, the systemic issues that led not only to Wagner’s appearance, but the fact that many people sympathized with him.
I have never seen anything more pathetic coming from a man who even looked like the president. Great job, team… The former commander of Russia’s proxies in Donetsk, Igor Strelkov, wrote that the unrest continued. Some pro-Kremlin military blogs were even more certain that the government would soon take a tough stance in response to the protests. Pro-Russian military blogger Yury Kotenok commented, “I can’t believe this is it”, suggesting that “personnel decisions” would be made shortly in the wake of the mutiny.