The Wagoner Group’s chief benefactor, Evgeny Prigozhin, had quite a public meltdown this week on social media and the West is lapping it up:
Standing in a field of corpses, Russian mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin on Friday published an expletive-ridden video personally blaming top defence chiefs for losses suffered by his Wagner Group fighters in Ukraine.
Prigozhin’s tirade reignited and escalated a long-running feud with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, whom he has repeatedly accused of starving his forces of ammunition.
Prigozhin appeared next to dozens of bloodied corpses that he said were those of Wagner fighters. His expletives were bleeped out in the video published by his press service.
“We have a 70% shortage of ammunition. Shoigu! Gerasimov! Where is the ******* ammunition?” he yelled into the camera.
Yep. There is the narrative. Wagoner is retreating in frustration from the Bakhmut meat grinder, Ukraine is reinforcing its beleaguered troops, and the Russian military is in disarray. A nice, neat propaganda coup for NATO on the eve of Ukraine’s sure to succeed offensive. Just proves what Western analysts have been saying all along — the Russians are full of shit.
Personally, I call bullshit. For starters, Prigozhin is not a military commander nor does he have any military experience. He can whip up a great Chicken Kiev and is an incredible marketeer, but he ain’t Clauswitz or Sun Tzu.
I will not bore you with the conventional analysis that insists Prigozhin is either a whistleblower on steriods or someone who is on the verge of a mental breakdown. I fully understand why some will draw those conclusions, but I am not buying it.
Does anybody remember Ramzan Kadyrov and the Chechen musliam Akhmat Battalion? One year ago, if you monitored social media, the Chechen’s were the face of the Russian military operation as they encircled and crushed the Azov battalion in Mariupol. Kadyrov and the Akhmat Battalion were all over Telegram channels. Then, poof, they disappeared from the Russian narrative. They went home to rest and refit. At the same time, the world saw hardly a word or video or social media post on the regular Russian forces. In the social media world, if they ain’t talking about you or playing your videos, you don’t exist.
So what the hell does Kadyrov have to do with Wagoner and Prigozhin? I want to suggest that the Prigozhin operation is the shiny object a skilled magician uses to distract audience attention from the real magic. Thanks to social media, the West, including intelligence agencies, have been convinced that the fighting in Bakhmut is the center of the military universe. But it is not.
Yes, Bakhmut has been the site of some very bitter, debilitating fighting that has ravaged the Ukrainian forces in terms of men and equipment. The Wagoner Group also has suffered casualties, but nothing on the scale inflicted on Ukraine. Meanwhile, there are other intense battles raging along the 900 kilometer line of conflict, such as Maryinka and Avdeevka. Not much public attention paid to them and the Akhmat Battalion is no where to be seen. Were they abducted by aliens?
I believe we are witnessing a 21st Century version of Russian Maskirovka. It is Bolshoi Military theater. I suppose some can argue that Prigozhin’s diva meltdown just a day after the failed Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin, which the Russians were quick to insist was an attempted assassination of Vladimir Putin. I do not buy it. Too convenient in terms of timing and narrative.
At this point most people in the United States have bought into the myth that the Russian Army is a paper tiger wracked by corruption and cowardly, craven leaders. In addition, there is virtually no attention being devoted to the disposition and activity of Russian forces. The world is focused on Ukraine’s long promised “massive” offensive that will drive Russia into the Black Sea.
In the modern world of ISR (i.e., Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) it is virtually impossible for any country to assemble a secret army with the array of tanks and armored vehicles necessary to launch an offensive. So what is a military planner to do? Get the world focused on a shiny object that is powerful enough to attract and divert the opponents intelligence analysts from what is really going on. I believe that Prigozhin and Bakhmut are that shiny object and the West, like a bored dog, is frantically chasing Russian squirrels that have nothing to do with the force Russia has in reserve waiting for the right moment to strike.
I could be wrong, would not be the first time, but the very existence of Russia is at stake and I believe that Putin, Shoigu and Gerasimov fully grasp that reality and are prepared to act with all necessary force to defeat the looming threat.
One more point to consider — the Western narrative insists that Putin is a brutal dictator who brokers no dissent. Really? If that was true then Prigozhin would be in shackles headed for a secret prison were he would die of some unexpected illness. But that is not what we are seeing. Prigozhin is posting outrageous comments and videos and is still walking around. That fact alone persuades me that he is playing a role in Russia’s current Maskirovka campaign.
Mike D. says
The Russians must be difficult for NATO to comprehend. Russia seems to artfully feinting, jabbing, moving, throwing in right crosses and left hooks to score. I am sure they have big challenges but the one thing that I always remember- this is their turf. They have the military history going back centuries, they know the culture, the powerful families, the feuds, the bridges, the caves, etc..They also are not far from their supply lines. Seems common sense along with experiences of Napoleon, Hitler but I am just a white guy in the USA who may be stupid, unlike Biden. I recall my Dad saying the USA should never go to war with Russia or China-it won’t go well.
Another excellent analysis. I just finished an article in which I quote Larry at length on the Kremlin attack. Russian military strategy appears based on Russian strategist Svechin’s theories which gained currency in Russian military circles in the 90s, largely because of their emphasis on situational adaptation– which led to a more successful prosecution of the Chechen war. Sun Tzu called this form of “operational art”, the art of the shuai jan:
The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan. Now the shuai-jan is a snake that is found in the Chung mountains. Strike at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle, and you will be attacked by head and tail both.
So, is Prigozhin, the head, or the tail, or the middle?
A. Dane says
1. Prigozhin has previously accused Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov of starving his forces of ammunition.
2. Ukraine has recently reinforced its beleaguered troops in Bakhmut with unlimited Ammunition.
3. Prigozhin is now blaming Russian Command for losses suffered by his Wagner fighters in Bakhmut.
4. The Wagoner Group has suffered casualties, but nothing on the scale inflicted on Ukraine.
5. Prigozhin is now threatening to retreat his group from Bakhmut on the 10 of Mai.
However this morning Wagner launched an attack on the remnants of the Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut, after a nightly Russian Bomber raid with incendiary bombs setting the last Ukrainian strongholds ablaze.
Today, it is virtually impossible for any country to secretly assemble an army to launch a large offensive.
So what is a military planner to do?
Get the opponent to focused on a shiny object to divert their intelligence from what is really going on. And the West is lapping it up:
If Putin was a brutal dictator Prigozhin would be headed for a secret prison.
But Prigozhin is still commander of the Wagner group.
Prigozhin is playing his role in the Russian Maskirovka campaign.
Even without having any military experience.
John Helmer has an excellent article on Prigozhin. Let us keep in mind that that while Prigozhin is the “face” of Wagner — he didn’t start it. Wagner is quite unlike Western PMCs. It came out of the Russian GU (intelligence services) and another Internal security organization (reportedly). It provides the military services that are not available to the regular Russian military under law — but is still subject to Russian control. Read Helmer’s article here:
Larry Johnson says
Wagner is more akin to the CIA’s Special Activities Division, but far more competent and capable. It is both a creature of military intelligence and the regular military
Agnieszka Gill says
Those who critique Prigozhin as “loosing his cool”, also critique Russian MOD for having the WORST PR team. I can barely believe that they made no changes to the “daily brief” guy who has demeanor of a robot.[ Actually, they would be better of with a robot]
1st- Prigozhin humanizes Russians, and alone undoes the paper cut out caricature of “human waves” and typical Russian disregard for loss of life in contrast to a civilized Ukraine, of course;
2nd- Prigozhin, together with other Telegram videos of frustrating soldiers, ARE proof that genuine public complaints are not only ok but acted upon; unfortunately for liberals, parroting western propaganda as gospel is not considered “protected” speech
3rd- Prigozhin made everyone realize cost is not $$ or military hardware but dead soldiers, who possibly would be still alive but for inaction of MoD;
4th – Prigozhin made this war very real for everyone who saw that clip., even to the bloody liberals
So far most commentators talk of Russia not being Soviet Union, but anything that departs from mute stone faced demeanor is somehow uncool and warrants a trip to a sanatorium.
“One more point to consider — the Western narrative insists that Putin is a brutal dictator who brokers no dissent. Really? If that was true then Prigozhin would be in shackles headed for a secret prison were he would die of some unexpected illness. But that is not what we are seeing. Prigozhin is posting outrageous comments and videos and is still walking around. ”
Well, Gonzalo Lira has been arrested by the Ukrainian police
Talk about contrast!!
Larry Johnson says
Prayers for Gonzalo. He was playing a risky gambit.
Vojkan M. says
He’s a foreign national. He’s saying things that they don’t like but he’s just a civilian, he hasn’t committed any violent act and he certainly didn’t engage in spying. They could just have kicked him out but they did the exact opposite, they forbade him to leave town. Now they’ve detained him again and still won’t expel him. It’s literal psychological torture, the Ukrainian regime is pure nazi vomit and Western liberal errors of nature are gloating.
Timothy Murray says
He is doing in Ukraine, exactly what dissidents in America are doing and suffering the same fate.
I’ve called the offices of both of my US senators – one of whom is intimately involved with US efforts in Ukraine. Let your congresspeople and senators know you’re watching. Gonzalo doesn’t say this (calling himself Chilean) but I believe – growing up in California – he also has US citizenship. He’s committed no crime – only wrongthink.
Gus G says
Very sneaky, those Ukrainians. Letting Gonzalo covort with anti-establishments types, unfettered internet access and free speech.
Larry Johnson says
And now? Besides persecuting clergy in the Orthodox Church, closing down opposition media and jailing political opponents, Ukraine is behaving like the old Soviet Union with a Nazi twist.
Gary Scarrabelotti says
Poor, bloody Gonzalo. I’ve often wondered how he was going to continue blogging and vlogging from Kharkov. Now we know.
Rebel Wop says
I’ve heard he may be terminally ill. There was a hint of it in one of his video way back when. He my not care that much, except they can torture him and keep him alive while they do it.
Curt Nichols says
Larry, I was never exactly sure what Gonzalo was doing. But unless he was an agent provocateur? He was going to get the last walk. Numerous wives and others have called me an unsympathetic man. But when you run thru the police barricade, jump up the steps, stick your head in the noose, flip off the mayor, and kick the chair out from under yourself? Oh, well.
This fellow thinks the US government are complicit in his arrest. And makes a pretty good case.
Mission Accomplished! says
You’d do best by not giving the MSM any room in your brain matter. It’s known to trigger CJ (mad cow) disease, otherwise known as spongebrain bob syndrome.
Bunch of Internet experts were shure that Gonzalo is just a fraud and that he never went anywhere near Kharkhov. I wonder how many of them will offer an apology for being an idiot on the internets.
His ex wife and child…or children…(can’t remember if more than one) were there. That is why he was there at the start of the conflict. He got them out… and decided to stay. He seemed to desire to report from there regardless of risk. He actually talked about it in an interview right before his arrest. On coffeeandamike if you want to listen to it.
They took his passport so he was unable to leave from what I’ve heard. They were likely spying on him too.
But it’s still a strange story. Presumably if he’d gone to his embassy they would have been obliged to give him a new passport and help him leave?
Why was he unable to take advantage of that?
IIRC, he claimed to have been under a kind of housearrest and was forbidden to leave the Ukraine.
He was detained last year. When he was released, he continued to report. He related that he was married to a UK lady. I think I remember an early post that he found he was stuck in country after the start of the SMO.
He needs to be released. He never raised his hand against the Ukraine and he deserves to be freed.
He was not allowed to leave the city after his previous arrest. I guess he was considered “under investigation” or something like that.
thanks for posting an article on this so quickly. if true Russia’s current Maskirovka campaign reminds me of sun tzu when yu are strong pretend yu are weak.
this is the latest i read on the subject as well as the latest from the duran who think prigozhin needs a rest
It will not be the regular Russian Army replacing the musicians but the Kadyrov men, Prigozhin outburst wasn’t faked, the envy of the top echelon of the Russian Armed services is mostly to blame for the shortage of ammo, if you read any off the Russian sources the Wagnerians are very much admired in the country, the Army isn;t.
The front line fighting has been carried out mostly by the forces of the two Republics, the international brigade, the Wagner group and earlier the Chechens that are going to step in in Bachmut on the 10th, the Russian unwashed are aware of it, the one guy you should listen to is Anatolij Sharij, he has his own people on the ground (he headed a political party in Ukraine before it got banned), the guy’s clued up, most of the stuff he said would happen did happen, unfortunately, he broadcasts mostly in Russian.
Please post whatever links to Sharij’s postings are available. TIA
You can get him on u-tube – see link below, pogohere, alternatively install the Telegram app, put in ‘anatolij sharij’ and click ‘join’.
You may find Eng’s posting below, ignore the guy, amongst the bloggers on u-tube Sharij is one of the best the best, you can disagree with him, Baron does but seldom, his past is as chequered as is everyone’s else in Ukraine, he backed Z, who wouldn’t compared to Poroshenko, as Z got changed by the Americans Sharij turned against him, he’s good, critical of both the Ukrainian mafia and the Russian leadership when it deserves it, his videos are mostly in Russian.
If you are interested in Ukraine, look up real experts who are not fake propaganda outfits like Sharii is. Here are some names for ideas, it would really help if you speak Russian or Ukranian (languages are mutually intelligible)
– on geopolitics and deep analysis. Dmitrii Djanjirov (Дмитрий Джангиров). Arrested, beaten, unknown if alive right now. one of the deepest minds in Kiev speaking on Ukranian civil conflict/war for the last 15 years at least.
– on security/security services. Vlad Mulik. Влад Мулык. Actual veteran of SBU before it turned into thug’s outfit. Threatened with death, current whereabouts unknown.
– on energy. Valentin Zemlyansky and Dmitrii Marunich (Валентин Землянский , Дмитрий Марунич). Very deep into energy, gas, energy deals, options for Ukraine, etc. Both declared traitors , Marunich arrested, current fate of both is unknown.
– on peace . Ruslan Kozaba. Руслан Коцаба. a real journalist from west Ukraine who asked why there are forth wave of mobilization and why we (Kiev regime) are killing our own citizens in Donbass in 2015. Spend over a year in jail, declared to be political prisoner by Venetian Commission, threaten with death, physically assaulted multiple times by UA regime thugs right in the courtroom, currently escaped (US I believe) .
– on peace. Tatyana Montyan. Ruslan’s attorney who took his case when no one risked death by doing so. Braver than any men i know, facing assault, death threats against her and family routinely. Currently delivers food and supplies to villages (russian and ukranian speaking) in Donbass, risking her life every way in the AFU shelling.
I can continue more and more and more, people above are real (vs fake Sharii), taking real risk, and telling their perspective and risking their lives on it. They are all ukranian , never were russian citizens or anything like that however in the civil war that is playing fascists in Kiev against their regional opposition, they are declared enemies of the nation and hunted down.
Note, if you want Russian perspective, look up Yuri Podolyaka , Politwera, etc. Dont waste time with fraud that is Sharii, would be my advice.
Be very careful with Anatolij Sharij as he is well known to be an asset of UA sec services. Previously in employ of Kolomoysky (same paymaster for Mr Cokehead) , Sharij was an average corrupt sleezeball that was puffed out into a ‘political force’ to assault previous president Poroshenko (for corruption of all things, pretty hillarious). Once Poroshenko was removed (lost election to Cokehead), Sharij become disposable and immediately old sins came into play. Now he is on very tight leash under threat of extradition (from Spain) so he is very well controlled by Ukraine’s SBU that can and does push harder/less hard to get him to UA to face charges, he is a ‘human face’ to nazi regime or controlled opposition alternative. There is absolutely nothing objective in his programming and it is as UA nazi as it gets (just in Russian language). If curious, look up Страна.ua, which is Firtash (different olygarch) outfit. They are still required to tow the party line (‘invasion’, etc), however have looser editorial policy (and cuter puppet person Olesya Medvedeva).
If Sharif’s an asset of the AU spooks then the one that hired him should be sacked, Eng, amongst the u-tube and Telegram bloggers he’s one of the best, where, pray, did you get that he’s ‘a ‘human face’ to nazi regime’, Baron listens to most of his offerings would never come to the same view, are you sure we are talking about the same guy?
Are you Sharii promotor or gestapo handler trying to raise his profile? Anatolii is both scam (to attract white-blue electorate) and scum (as person, who year over year over year justified and lauded the assault on Donbass , stated total absence of nazies in Ukraine and other ridiculous lies, lauded the murder of ‘vata’ (derogatory term for central/eastern ukranian aka russian from ‘vatnik’)). If you do not know any of the above, I am sorry, you are totally unfamiliar with Ukrainian civil conflict (in its 20th year since first Maidan) and Ukranian civil war that is now in its 10th year in hot phase. Every step of the way Sharii supported nazi’s (calling them activists) until they come for himself.
Yeah, this simply does not look right..
It is either what Larry says – a distraction to hide something or dangling the carrot for more Ukrainian troops to be drawn into Bakhmut.
We will probably know in a couple of weeks.
I think drones were Russian False flag timed with Z going to Finland, if his handlers are with him? who will be making the decisions? did the Russians try to goat them into a counter offensive, or bak- mute rescue attempt, ill timed and where burned alive ? Z may not be able to get back with out being killed, and Ukraine military may surrender with out him and handlers
Alex Thrace says
I just can’t understand why tens of thousands of presumably rational people would charge into certain death on the orders of some pudgy, drug saturated lunatic with below average intelligence? A guys who’s only unique takent was the ability to play piano with his dick.
The guy has embezzled tens of millions of dollars from aid programs, kicked back a portion no doubt to the Big Guy, but what does anyone in the AFU have to gain by following this asshole?
Exactly. We’ve noticed, Alex
A feature of the modern, Western liberal educated, monied middle and upper classes whereas, in contrast, the tradesmen class has a more practical grip on the reality of contemporary affairs. That is, less likely to believe what they are told by media favourites.
For the educated class – they attach impressive significance to their impressive media personalities and so subscribe to simplistic explanations and plain lies. The authorized narrative. The official view. Dissenters thus labelled conspiracy theorists.
Evidence – Declining interest in signing up “when duty calls”, a serious difficulty for the Anglo-Christian Armed Forces whenever the latest incarnation of The Anti-Christ emerges. The Western liberal educated, monied middle and upper classes always assumed that the lesser educated would fall into line, if only from economic desperation, another reason for an unemployed labour pool.
Just why the educated classes are so enamored with President Zelenskyy who, as correctly identified, comes with absolutely no credentials to run a state, or a province, or mayoral jurisdiction, so evidencing The Decline of The West.
Tradesmen and Physicists do not run the editorial board of major press operations.
Examined here in different places . . . https://les7eb.substack.com
Alex Thrace says
we could say the same thing I suppose about the US, who in their right mind would go willing into a war started by that demented vegetable that was installed in the White House, a war started merely to be used a cover for his own crimes and mismanagement.
Had a discussion with an ICE office the other day and asked why they go along with Bidens open border insanity, he said he has no choice since he worked for the President. I reminded that he does not work for the President and that he works for the American people and swore an oath to the constitution. They don’t want to hear it.
Colin Mansell says
Well there the strong-arm of the Azov types, backed by MI6/CIA, NATO and all their intelligence apparatus, so it`s not that simple.
you do not need a false flag when you are winning and have 70% approval, and the backing of 70% of the globe. Really.
Pym of Nantucket says
The Russian objective is to lead the global south away from US economic control. I think the objective is huge and long term. We have become inured to the US control of ideas and international institutions so we don’t notice how much work is needed to get to where balance in international relations can exist.
My take #1 on this is: Prigozhin is trolling and “exposing his belly for scratches” before he turns around to bite. We have heard all sorts of reasons why the 404 counter-offensive being delayed. He is trolling them by providing reasons on the Russian side to match the 404 reasons. 404 complains about the weather, he complains about ammo shortage. 404 complains about shortage of jets, he complains about shortage of artillery shells. So on and so on.
My alternative take (#2) is that he “lost it”. Mercouris correctly pointed out today that there was no way he created/financed Wagner – they have ground support jets (Su-24), tanks etc. – it would take a LOT of money to create an organization, fund it and keep it going for years through all sorts of conflicts. It may be that he was useful to the RFA for a while but is now too involved and has become a liability.
One thing I do not believe is that there is an ammo/shell shortage. RFA may be conserving resources at the moment but portions of Bakhmut keep being taken by the Russians – dwindling ammo/shells usually leads to opposite results.
But then again, I am no expert – just a guy reading the news.
Yeah, Prigozhin isn’t buying all that gear and paying all those salaries. There’s just no way. He hasn’t complained that he’s not getting what he’s paying for.
He may be cracking. I find it hard to believe that it’s all a play. You don’t call the highest levels of the military bitches publicly as part of a stunt. But he also represents a sentiment in Russian patriotic circles. It used to be confined to the “turbopatriots” but seems to be going mainstream. The doomers are gaining the upper hand in the public discourse. (I don’t know whether they’re right, wrong or how right/wrong.)
as a business man, if he was independent, he would have started up his own ammo factories in the rear for specific ammo types needed.
likewise with tanks and armored vehicles and artillery.
Ye he seems to whine every time they are about to go forward and make gains.
They are great strategists and I’m sure they have a brilliant plan lined up.
Remember when the Guardian published back in September 11 2022, “Putin loyalist Kadyrov criticises Russian army’s performance over Ukraine retreat.”
Mountains out of Molehills says
The MSM looks for the slightest cracks in the narrative and then looks to drive a verbal wedge into them. It’s so transparent, it’s comical.
Like Lira used to say before the Gestapo picked him up: “Know what’s going on.”
I don’t believe much in the cover-up campaign version. That is, disguise is possible, but Prigozhin’s involvement in it is doubtful – too odious person with a criminal past.
The following version-opinions appeared in Russian Telegram channels:
– “What was it like in the Soviet Army? If someone doesn’t like something, he writes a report. If the report is ignored, he grinds his teeth and carries out the order. Here we see an act not according to army logic. But according to what? According to the logic of politics and intrigue. This is not an act of the military. This is an act of a politician” (blogger Koryakovtsev).
“I am far from unequivocally scolding Prigozhin and considering all his statements as “politics” and “intrigue” – it’s really hard for Wagner. I admit that he will be completely crushed there soon. soon his fighters will be killed.
But it’s not about the supply of shells.
“Wagner” must be taken to reformation.
But the owner-boss quarreled with everyone and he has ambitions. Take in one person the superfortress Bakhmut. And for the sake of this result, he did not spare the fighters – only when it remained to advance the last 2 km, it turned out that soon there would be no fighters left.
And now Prigozhin is hysterical and shifts the blame to others” (blogger End of Ukraine).
Otherwise, you’re right, Larry. There was a false impression that Mariupol took only Akhmat and Kadyrov, Bakhmut took only Wagner and Prigozhin, in other areas only the people’s militia of the DPR and LPR were fighting, and the Russian army seemed to be absent, since it is completely absent in the media field.
A well-thought-out camouflage campaign may refer to units of the regular Russian army. Prigozhin is the complete amateur performance of a chef who has gone crazy, who imagines himself a politician.
Napoleon taught the world that it is better to create a national standing army than to rely on fickle unreliable mercenary armies who are in it only for material gain. Even Machiavelli wrote about the dangers of Princes pinning their hopes on mercenaries and need we mention how world history is full of anecdotes on how governments should be very wary of entrusting soldiers for hire to fight their wars. It shouldn’t surprise that from the SMO’s onset, there were many in the inner circle of Russia’s defense establishment who held a certain disdain for Prigozhin. I’m pretty sure Ramzan Kadyrov was one of them. Prigozhin’s blustering and rantings has in fact proved their suspicions were more than founded and may I add, that Prigozhin and Zelensky have a certain common ethnic link who I wouldn’t trust in 10 lifetimes. It says a lot.
In the Belly of the Beast says
Off topic. Couldn’t resist:
Well, they finally hauled Lira in. Surprised they waited this long. Too bad because he’d hosted some pretty interesting round tables with A-class contributors. Probably what finally pulled the plug.
Went to the Daily Beast for the arrest video. First time I ever pulled up the Daily Beast. Man, what a trashy layout and rag. Thought I was reading the National Enquirer or something. How low can we go?
Oh well. C’est la guerre.
F. Tuijn says
His case and that of Assange prove that western talk of Freedom of Speech – and other Freedoms – is only Propaganda.
The Upper Class lies.
People believe them.
One reason they remain The Upper Class.
The candidates are chosen.
The Voting Class believes they have a democracy because they vote for people selected by others, not seen.
Assange would have made a meal of the propaganda now circulating Australia re War With China 2025-7.
$250 billion+ committed to acquiring US made weapons. Development programs cut.
Australia lined up for that Lesson of The Ukraine – Be a Washington proxy => Be destroyed. Add in TaiWan.
No country for young men.
How many military targets within / near central business districts and elsewhere does Australia have? How many in Melbourne?
Best not to say. https://les7eb.substack.com
Australia is a more secretive country than the US.
Curt Nichols says
While I think Russia is on the side of “right” in Ukraine? I have no illusions as to theirs being a free society.
If this was a actual case of almost rebellion on the battlefield? He, like any other troop, would be glumly examining his short and fucked up future. From a cell.
Who knows what Russian nesting doll this is. But there is a set. And confronting it is the new diversity hires and politically culled troops of American Intelligence.
The Russians are not grand master chess players outwitting us at every turn.
But look who they’re playing.
Curt Nichols, your remarks are mostly sound but overly cynical. Such cynicism is not peculiar to Russians. Get rid of the cynicism, don’t judge from the position of your American worldview, and begin to better understand the Russian reality.
Where is a free society? They don’t jail you in Russia for calling Putin garbage, like they do in France when you call Macron garbage. They don’t jail journalists who publish war crimes in Russia, unlike here in the West where Assange has been jailed for years without a trial. And they don’t jail you in Russia for calling a man a man, just because someone is transgender and has hurt feelings. People here in the West need to ditch the near 200 years of anti Russian propaganda coming out of Perfidious Albion and her Anglo Saxon sphere of influence ever since their debacle with the French in Crimea.
Prigozhin is a civilian, never had a day in the military, so he might well be suffering PTSD, civilians are not usually confronted by mangled bodies and massive destruction on a daily basis. He could of course be playing the dumbos in the Pentagon at their own game, ie propaganda and subterfuge. One thing he is not, was someone short of ammunition. 15 thousand Ukies were killed in Bakhmut in the last 30 days, they didn’t die of Covid, that’s a fact.
Curt Nichols says
I was not clear there, and I apologize. There is no free society left in the world. We are ALL living in an Orwellian nightmare that is being implemented daily. I did not mean to say we were free, and Russia was not.
As a matter of fact? The United States leads the world in total number of people incarcerated, with more than 2 million prisoners nationwide (per data released in October 2021 by World Prison Brief). This number is equivalent to roughly 25% of the world’s total prison population and leads to an incarceration rate of 629 people per 100,000—the highest rate in the world.
And look at the J6 political prisoners. In a Washington DC gulag.
No problem Curt, I live in Ireland, a nation that has just launched a new Hate Law which can be applied to anyone our corrupt fascist government want it to apply to. They can go through your phones, computers to find images they don’t like, and then the accused has to prove the images are not for hate purposes! Irish homeless people, 12 thousand right now, are sleeping rough while our government pay fortunes for accommodation everyday for foreign, military aged males. Over a hundred thousand illegal immigrants walked off aircraft without passports in the last year alone. Our population was 5 million. The Ukrainian immigrants are now going back to Ukraine to buy new cars, and produce their Irish Social Welfare forms as guarantees to buy brand new vehicles and drive back to Ireland with them. Even the ferries are free for them, I would pay at least 400 Euro to bring my car to Britain by ferry, they get free fares.
The West is rotten, to the core, it’s a re-run of the Weimar Republic we are witnessing, and we know who the elites picked back then to lead them into the 1930s.
That’s fine Curt, no problem. I replied to you earlier, but it has been removed.
Maybe the Irish Hate Laws I mentioned had something to do with that.
“I have no illusions as to theirs being a free society.”
Do you have a list of free socities?
Alex Thrace says
In light of scenes from places like Artemovsk, it seems odd that any complaints about supply wouldbe valid.
Prigozhin is running a psyop it seems.
I am positive that complaints about supplies are valid. It’s a thing that happened in every war ever fought. Addition of HIMARS and NATO C4ISR to the mix makes things much harder.
Well if you’re positive, that settles it.
You can easily prove me wrong by stating wars with no logistical problems. Maybe you have even been in a military/war where everything was smooth.
Fair enough. Complaints about supplies are valid. Of course, that doesn’t prove that this particular rant was really about supplies and not an intentional misdirection.
Yep. I never claimed to know what’s it really about. I don’t think anyone knows what’s exactly in Prigozhin’s head, including himself. His previous trolls were relatively obvious (like the one about selling WWII vintage submachine guns in order to buy ammo). He could be upping his game, or he could be just burnt out from all the stress.
War is chaos, and Internet can amplify stuff to ludicrous levels. This whole episode is more interesting from psychological standpoint than from military one.
Larry. Agree with your assessment. I too found it strange that Prigozhin would have a meltdown (publicly) just before two major events: first, the much touted Ukro offensive, and second, on the eve of May 9. Was tossing either it’s a maskirovka operation, or Prigozhin needed a long holiday to rest ad recuperate. Was strongly going for the first. Still am. Prigozhin is not the military commander of the Wagner PMC Forces. He is just chief recruiter and paymaster who has been contracted by the Russian military for a specific task. As such the PMC (as with all PMCs) are under the overall control of the Russian General Staff – Prigozhin would not be able to just willy nilly pull his people out. Bet there is something in the fine print of the contract about what he can and can’t do. Having said that, there is no doubt that the is some animosity between Prigozhin and the Russian Commanders. Hell there was with Kadyrov. The Wagnerians will most likely be withdrawn in the near future, once Bahkmut has fallen as the Chechens were after Mariupol. As with yo going for Maskirovka – but we could be wrong.
Katyusha on Studebaker says
The commemoration of failure stamp drone attack was meant to cause an overreaction to justify more aggression from the Warpigs of the former west?
NPC types are fully onboard with the they are just like us but they talk funny but that’s not how that works.
Don’t play into it EP.
If it is not a Maskirovka operation, it could just be that Prigozhin is having a real breakdown. For a soldier at the front (where Prigozhin was) there is often no “big picture”, no difference between victory and defeat, just a sea of bodies and blood. In most cases, a unit like Wagner PMC, successfully fighting in a location like Bakhmut, for that duration, would be effectively “WRECKED” (significantly degraded as a combat unit). Could it be that Prigozhin has fallen into this trap?
ROBERT E. LEE: “Soldiering has one great trap. To be a good soldier, you must love the Army, to be a good commander, you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love.”
Obviously Prigozhin loves the Wagner PMC… and I never got the impression that he was willing to “order its death” of it. It probably never crossed Prigozhin’s mind that when he created the Wagner PMC, as a private military corporation, that it was “disposable” and that one day it might need to be deliberately wrecked. (Like the British 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem, the US 101 Airborne at Bastogne or the 1st German Parachute Division on Crete) Only in rare brilliant operational engagements does an army or unit avoid this. Ultimately, Wagner PMC (or any unit) is an expendable “tool” in war and if a commander loses sight of that, then they erroneously believe they can have both things: great victories with few loses.
Paulo Guerra says
Without wanting to diminish Russia’s military power, it’s good to think how many decades has Russia not had a mobilization like the current one? Or was it involved in a military conflict on the scale of Ukraine? Because, like it or not, it really justifies some less lubricated parts in the military machine and other messy ones like the protagonism of some civilians like Prigozhin or Kadirov in the middle of the battlefield! That of military strategy and operations planning they know zero.
About Prigozhin, I even started to think about some kind of social ambition that transcended the battlefield, due to the protagonism that the media inside and outside Russia gave him! Today, I think he’s really completely out of control and it’s not worth talking about the reasons now, because I think he already definitely lost control of the Wagner Group during the SMO. Or at least in the near future. Which is not alien to the transfer of General Mizintsev by the MOD to the Wagner Group!
Because one thing is to travel to a small African country with Shoigu and sign some commercial service contracts with the local authorities and another totally diferent is Prigozhin totally out of control wanting to get involved in arms management with the MOD in a conflict like the proxy war in Ukraine! Prigozhin’s latest interventions have nothing to do with the Prighozin troll of the recent past. And no one will hear any justifications of the MOD!
Something does sound pretty obvious :
The surviving men who have been fighting the Bakhmut battle for many months in a row, must now be taken out of this hell as soon as possible.
Is there some sort of untold moral obligation for Wagner PMC to deliver a clearcut victory in Bakhmut on the eve of May 9 …? Has the RF ministry/high command been making this kind of pressure lately ?
That could explain both Prigozhin’s strong language and Kadyrov’s comments on it.
“Is there any inexpressible moral obligation to the Wagner PMC to win a clear victory in Bakhmut on the eve of May 9…?”
No. There was not and no. This is a propaganda invention of the Ukrainians, picked up in the West.
The May 9 Victory Parade is a tribute to our WW2 victorious ancestors. This is a symbol of the accepted relay race. The Victory Parade has nothing to do with local battles in Bakhmut – neither to the current situation, nor to its outcome.
Bakhmut, Bakhmut…too much attention, too much distracting PR.
More significant strategic battles are taking place in Avdiivka. But almost nothing is heard about them.
In general, even the final defeat of the whole of Ukraine would not have anything to do with the Victory Parade.
MK Bhadrakumar says
This is a bizarre interpretation which reads more like fiction. Perhaps, this is how CIA would have analysed the situation? Are Americans so damn dumb not to see through such ploys? At any rate, there are ways and ways of playing such an intricate game over Bakhmut. Why allow a third-rater to use such expletives to demean Putin’s immediate subordinates? The buck, ultimately stops at the Boss’s desk, isn’t it? Actually, this fellow has abused Putin. (Sadly, neither seems to realise that.) This is not at all about freedom of speech. It is the stuff of a defamation suit in a court of law in any civilised society. Nobody is going to be impressed, either, that Russia allows such scoundrels to talk filth about high military officials publicly, on camera, while standing in front of troops on the frontline in the enemy country, in the middle of a war — if he goes scot free. People will only mock Russia, especially after the drone attack by some cheeky fellows on its citadel of power recently.
Jiri Severa says
You are right: this does not look at all like a staged production. The main reason is as you say is the effect such outbursts have on the morale of the troops, and the authority of the chain of command. Prigozhin is a known loose cannon. Everyone knows that. He has been tolerated by the Kremlin because his private army carries the brunt of the hand-to-hand fighting which keeps casualties down in the professional ranks of the armed forces – something that Putin is reportedly obsessing about. Similarly with Kadyrov, whom the Russian president has a relationship best described as “faute de mieux”.
Maybe. Or maybe it will eventually come out that Shoigu and Gerasimov were chuckling about being called bitches while the West was distracted from Russia’s offensive plans. Time will tell.
This is also Mr.Prigozhin, saying essentially the same – and worse in military math – and myth:
This is Gubarev, one of the earliest of fighters of Novorossia, saying much the same…and worse:
This is a collection of patriot officers saying the same – and worse:
This is the “Club of Pissed off Patriots” saying much the same – and worse:
This is Medvedev, handing out some friendly warning:
This is Gubarev, and a Yuri Evitsh, a surgeon, who has been indicted for spreading fake news about the MOD(since released by the judge), while training volunteer medics, saying not much else:
Of course how could I leave out Strelkov, who has been quiet for the last few days, back a while:
Some guy(Murz, fixxer of everything from drones to comms), collecting ol`junk transmitters for the front, I guess he is bored, `cos all is right and we have everything we need:
-General lack of a closed net(comms) ABSOLUTE lack of coordination between
-Absolute incompetency(corruption) of the Staff/political leadership.
Serious danger of being fucked up in multiple localles at once.
Now, some of these peeps do not play nice with each other, yet they seem to agree.
Ghost of Mozgovoy says
Why do you think Gubarev, and others like Khodakowsky, are still alive, while the rest of former commnaders, Mozgovoy, Bezler, Motorola, Givi, even Zakharchenko, are dead?
Is it a matter of personal charm and leadership?
Vojkan M. says
It is also possible that Prigozhin views himself as a fatherly figure and had a genuine breakdown due to increased losses that resulted from highly intensified fighting in the past week. The 7-to-1 kill ratio is perhaps comforting to pro-Russian armchair strategists safely ensconced behind their screens, but on the battlefied, the smell of charred flesh and blood is all too real and fighters don’t see losses in relative terms, they see them as absolute. In any case, no reliable information pertaining to the state of affairs on the ground can be drawn from Prigozhin’s tantrum.
It is Maskirovka. All other explanations are illogical. Back to 2013/2014, the Russians were watching what the USA and its European vassals were doing in Ukraine and on its borders since the 90s. Besides, I believe that their intelligence agencies are professionals and have their capital even in the USA. Until today I do not believe that Russia was surprised by the Maidan and what goal the USA is pursuing. Since the USNATO expanded towards Russian borders Russia knew that war with the USA is inevitable. For 30 years Russia has been preparing for this final. A President Putin was not an accident and not a decision of “Vodka Yeltsin”. The rapid diversification of their economy was no accident. The rapid organization of their “ghost oil tanker fleet” was no accident. The progressive success against the world reserve currency, the US dollar, was no accident. And so on.
Officially, Russia has no military alliance with China and Iran. Unofficially, this alliance exists and they act in concert with each other.
Why do I believe all this? Because it is LOGICAL. Because many scattered puzzle pieces fit together when you connect them.
Where is the Russian ARMY? I have been asking this since last year and I get no answer or only confusion. THE RUSSIAN ARMY would have wiped out Ukraine in 1 week. THE RUSSIAN ARMY we will see if the USNATO is stupid enough to go on the offensive itself. No matter if in Europe or against China in Asia.
Someone had asked a crucial question in an article. I think it was Mark Wauck. I can’t remember the author.
“Is the United States capable of living constructively in and with a multipolar world?”
Thus, mutatis mutandis, the question. Meant were no politicians or other “water-carriers”. What was meant was the 0.1% who have ruled the world up to now.
In the same article the conclusion is: “No”.
Whoever deals with the “Great Reset” will be surprised that its practical implementation began in 2020 (alleged pandemic) and in parallel the war against Russia and China was intensified. Still as an economic war. And with an intensification of the construction of the Ukrainian proxy army.
What is apparently not understood in the West is that Russia and China have written off the West for a whole coming epoch. Russia the West economically, politically and otherwise. They no longer care what Western media and politicians tell them. Russia and China know their “existence” is to be ended. They try what is possible to avoid a nuclear war. But nobody should make illusions. They are ready for it in case of need.
Only a previous economic and social implosion of the West can prevent it. That is why Russia and China are playing for time. But if the U.S. goes one step too far, it will be too late. For example, indications are mounting that NATO wants to send a “peacekeeping force” to Ukraine. What a euphemism. Or Transnistria. Or Kaliningrad.
Share your analysis down to the letter. As you state, had Russia committed its full military potential on Ukraine, the fight wouldn’t have lasted more than a week. But Russia and its allies are fully aware of the Final Target and are dismantling and destroying it piece by piece. This long war of attrition against the hegemonic US run by an uncultured, criminal elite class will not end in a week or months unless someone so insane in the sacred halls in Washington, dares to go full Samson Option.
Curt Nichols says
Well said. Where is the Russian Army? They are waiting in reserve. They have watched the completely illogical and homicidal actions of NATO and the US. They are rightfully concerned and husbanding their resources.
That is what is startling about this war. Russia is defeating a complete US and NATO operation with small private armies, local militias, and not much else.
I compare this to my police days. Big men never worried me. Obviously trained ground fighters never worried me. Enough pepper gas, and a dose of K9 and they all go down whimpering. But the truly insane? When at the slightest interaction, you know that they are fucking crazy? Those people are scary. We all laugh at the video of the naked guy with a samurai sword screaming. Well, wait till you are the first squad car to show up there.
And that is where Russia finds itself.
I still remember what Putin said at the very outset of the SMO.
In short, Remove all threats from Russia.
During the SMO many reveals occurred increasing those convictions and resolve.
Russia is fully prepared for the ongoing push back against the multipolar cohesion, the forming of Eurasian economy, the belt rode initiatives and all the order items of business that China and Russia are fully intent on achieving together.
Russia isn’t paying much attention to Prigozhin at the moment they are much too focused on the real issues.
I apologize for leaving the original text in Russian. But translating three languages together is beyond my abilities.
Vladimir Rudolfovich Soloviev wrote in VK:
“После всех покушений у меня только один вопрос: мы отвечать уже когда-нибудь будем?
От безнаказанности укрохунта только наглеет. И ответ должен быть симметричным. По заказчикам и разработчикам покушений. Никакие удары по инфраструктуре нацистских главарей не пугают.
Так что пора реализовывать путинский рецепт по борьбе с террористами:
«Мы будем преследовать террористов везде. В аэропорту — в аэропорту. Значит, вы уж меня извините, в туалете поймаем, мы и в сортире их замочим, в конце концов. Всё, вопрос закрыт окончательно».”
My comment was:
“Я, одинокий голос из Мордора. Я задаю вопрос. Кто такие террористы? Конечно, это те, кто убивает. Но как насчет тех, кто планирует, финансирует, поставляет оружие, наемников и многое другое. Станет ли конец нацистского режима началом мира? Никогда.
Первая и Вторая мировые войны не были двумя войнами. Это была одна и та же война с фазой 1 и фазой 2. Нынешняя мировая война – это фаза 3. Она никогда не закончится до гибели человечества, если организаторы и спекулянты на заднем плане не будут привлечены к ответственности. Наконец-то пришло время сделать это. Но под силу ли это России и Китаю? Я не знаю.”
“After all the assassination attempts, I have only one question: will we ever be responsible?
From impunity ukrokhunta only impudent. And the answer should be symmetrical. By customers and developers of attempts. No strikes on the infrastructure of the Nazi leaders are not afraid.
So it’s time to implement Putin’s prescription for the fight against terrorists:
“We will pursue terrorists everywhere. At the airport – at the airport. So, you will excuse me, we will catch them in the toilet, we will soak them in the toilet, in the end. That’s it, the issue is finally closed.
My was comment:
“I am the lone voice from Mordor. I’m asking a question. Who are terrorists? Of course, these are the ones who kill. But what about those who plan, finance, supply weapons, mercenaries and more. Will the end of the Nazi regime be the beginning of peace? Never.
The First and Second World Wars were not two wars. It was the same war with phase 1 and phase 2. The current world war is phase 3. It will never end before the destruction of mankind if the organizers and profiteers in the background are not held accountable. Finally it’s time to do it. But can Russia and China do it? I don’t know.”
Hiro Masamune says
Media warfare is part of warfare ; PMC don’t do propaganda , they do marketing.
The guy is a CEO, not a general, PMC don’t have a government, it have a Board with shareholders. The end product of a PMC is a place cleaned of those the customer don’t want. To get this end products you need tools (weapons) energy (ordinance) workforce (soldiers) and some resources to transform (a place with some cannon fodder in it).
It’s a business. And the Artymovsk job is soon finished , need to find another contract.
PS : Achmat is still active in the south Donestk , not the most active place right now.
Hiro Masamune says
My bad for Akhmat ,they were also in Bilohorivka industrial zone it seems.
Strength and honor for the guys. Job’s done well.
A former cook without any military experience who has become the Don of mercenaries. A move that has Erik Prince biting his pillow in contemptuous envy!!! Though something just isn’t right in this picture and as some commenters in other blogs have remarked, Prigozhin plays the role of court jester in a world-wide theatre of actors, stuntmen and extras. We might see him performing another role in the not too distant future. The most recent hire of “ex Russian General” Mintsev as Deputy Commander of Wagner speaks volumes for what is really happening behind the curtain.
Prigozhin leases (his) people to the Russian army. He is a business man and gets paid for work done. No people = No pay. As a fighters business he is used to casualties and has to calculate a replacement rate, which should be 1:1 less the business becomes unprofitable.
If he sustains much higher casualties than normal, his business is hurt; the replacement rate falls below 1:1 and revenue is lost.
Top it off with an emotional connection with his people, a shared feeling of purpose, and it is easy to freak out on camera.
the prigozhin video does not look staged or inauthentic: the man is in a rage, and probably rightfully so. after months on the frontlines, the argument that “he`s a civilian and doesn`t know what he`s talking about” doesn`t cut it, either.
fact of the matter is that general shoigu immediately ran to the donbass frontlines to see for himself whether prigozhin`s claims were true or not. clearly therefore, this is indeed a case of “where there`s smoke, there`s fire”: for one thing, decidedly not a good look.
Larry, you are one of the few I have time for in this crazy world.
But, Prigozin is no actor either, his excoriation/s are bonafide too. To what degree is unknown.
As for Gonzo Lira, if the thugs who are holding him deny him his fags, they might just improve his health a little.
Pretty sure Gonzalo is hetero. 😉
Fags are cigarettes
Oh dear, this Brit should choose his nouns more carefully!
God bless Gonzalo.
Well… at some point we will see Prigozhin in jail or hanging out with Shoigu, Gerasimov, Putin… either way, we will know if all of this was just theater or real… but from the first moment, to me, if real, then Prigozhin violated several laws… so, not buying it.
We can remember the last time – two months ago – Prigozhin went on social media doing the same rant about ammunition shortage to billions of audience worldwide. Does this mean the Tweeter/Facebook.. have become the Russian official communication channel in the midst of one of history’s most important wars where Russia’s own existence is at stake? Military communications are carried out secretly in codes so the enemy doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s very hard to believe there’s real shortage of ammo in the Russian Army. The last time it happened, Wagner fighters took over %95 of Artemovsk, with what? only %10 of ammo sent to the front? If they can overrun %95 of NATO’s most hardened defense formations in Bakhmut with just %10 ammo, then surely they can take the rest with rifles only. At the same time Russia being a huge country suffers from massive bureaucratic sluggishness, especially with its very active dollar-affiliated 5/6-th column agents and NGO’s making matters worse. Hopefully, Russia will deal with these issues asap.
I posted somewhere yesterday that we’ve seen this act more than once before. Each time with greater vitriol.
It’s Lucy with the football again.
Michael Droy says
Alec Krainer suggests that the drone attack on the Kremlin means if Zelensky suddenly gets killed in Kiev the world will immediately blame a Putin assassination which might be very convenient for many.
Sounds like a good theory to me.
“the Western narrative insists that Putin is a brutal dictator who brokers no dissent. ”
They have to say that though don’t they, otherwise their TV appearances get limited to occasional moments on RT. Western media is THE brutal dictator.
Sunday XXXIII says
Prigozhin might just be someone who needs to have a good rant to let off steam. Feels fine in the morning. It could still be maskirovka, and Prigozhin’s need for a rant would provide useful sincerity. Saves finding a good Actor to fake it
Well, I agree with Larry. I know a con job when I see one. Master Sun Tsu would too, as Appear strong where you are weak, and appear weak where you are strong…and All war is based on deception…and know your enemy and know yourself and fear not a thousand battles…and war is the life of the State. I do worry though, Empire always doubles down, and in the instance that might get hairy.
Oblomovka daydream says
With regard to the ‘unlimited’ use of ammunition for howitzers along the RF frontline: I’ve read that the Ukrainian fortress city of Ugledar/Vuhledar used to be heavily shelled constantly, however with relative little effect. Now Ugledar is constantly being bombarded by glide bombs from the Russian air force with the result that this fortress is being razed to the ground.
The last part of Bakhmut/Artemovsk where the UA forces are hiding is called ‘small Ugledar/Vuhledar’ because of the similarity in the high rise buildings. I guess that the same method of razing this building complex to the ground by means of glide bombs (dropped by the Russian air force) is being applied. This means that the RF is on purpose saving ammunition shells for howitzers, since the use of shelling these high rise fortresses has proved to be much less effective than the use of glide bombs.
So the meltdown of Prigozhin might be explained as having been caused by a lack of understanding as well as a lack of communication (between the RF command and Prigozhin). The last fortresses of Artemovsk will be flattened with glide bombs. Therefore the RF command may left the former policy of ‘unlimited’ use of ammunition shelling against the UA strongholds.
Prigozhin was receiving 30% of needed munitions, and with those he managed to take 90% of Bakhmut. He lost his mind because of thirty casualties (and says that it should be five times less). Let those numbers sink in.
The other side is throwing everything but the kitchen sink in the meat grinder, and is still not capable of inflicting more than a few dozen casualties a day (while suferring hudreds). They have almost completly lost a city turned into fortress, to an enemy fighting with 30% of its firepower.
Jack Gordon says
I’d agree with Larry’s assessment more readily if Prigorzhin hadn’t accused Shoigu and Gerasimov of treason and embezzlement. He could have accomplished a respectful Maskirova without sullying their reputations this way so publicly. I think he lost it and, in a fit of mental exhaustion, managed also to lose both former friends and tolerant allies in the chain of command. He’s Russia’s version of George Patton who just slapped a soldier’s face in front of cameras. Career kaput.
I thought as you do.
First of all it’s highly unprofessional. If you have a problem with supply you talk to the people in charge of that. Not crybaby it all over the internet.
Not something I expect from the head of Wagner.
This may be overly callous but we’ve seen bodies in body bags. Different crisis in 2020. And that was in broad daylight.
One dead guy it seemed wanted one last cigarette despite being dead.
The timing is of course verrrry interesting!
You know some serious shit is about to get down when all of the mighy carriers are back in ports.
Claudio Amadeus says
Grief and exhaustion can be used to propose an intentional distraction or marketing, and here, a military narrative. The emotions are real while the message has the goal to sell an idea. The devil, to sell a lie first tells a truth.
Who is Evgeny Prigozhin addressing in his videos? He seems to be addressing the commanders of the Russian Federation but the audience is someone else. He seems to be addressing the public, those who will be hiring the Wagner group and soldiers of fortune. He is saying: “We are independent”, “we get the job done even without much logistic support”, “I care for my men, and suffer with them when they are injured or die”, “you can work with us”, “all politicians are corrupt and lie (plays well with the general public), we do not”. The video displays rage and grief while the message favors the Wagner group now that the project Bakhmut is finished. The town is already liberated as planned. What is next? “We are available”.
The Ukrainians, their supporters and mercenaries will be scratching their heads thinking: “We did well after all, although we lost many more men than they did”, “should we consider working for the Wagner group? They lose 35 men and they are complaining while we are getting killed by the thousands”, etc.
The question remains: is this type of public display effective or is overly dramatic?
Larry P. Johnson says
Larry’s speculation could well be true. Here is more discussion of the same event. The military discussion is frosting on the cake and also worth the read.
L. (the other Larry Johnson)
Jiri Severa says
Larry, please, it’s not “Wagoner” but “Wagner”. The group is sometimes referred to as “muzykanty” (the musicians).
The Prigozhin video was the cheese in the mousetrap. Ukrainian forces had recently been evacuating from the Bahkmut cauldron, and that process may now reverse if they think that Wagner is leaving soon. Some of the elite Ukrainian assault units were being redeployed to the south and Gerasimov would prefer that they be annihilated in the cauldron. Wagner has a scheduled rotation coming up, and likely will be replaced by the Akhmat Battalion to finish the cleanup operation.
The West, and its proxy Ukraine, need to complete a Hail Mary pass in order to stave off imminent defeat. That gambit won’t be the proverbial “Counteroffensive”, but rather a false flag dirty bomb incident that they hope to blame on Russia. A cornered rat will fight with vicious ferocity to the last, and that is what to expect from the Kagan Cult in DC.
“… the city will be taken …”
Wagner should remain in Bakhmut/Artyomovsk until May 9 and then “pull out to rear bases to lick their wounds …”
Juan Valdez says
“EVGENY PRIGOZHIN — TRUTH TELLER, MAD MAN OR MASKIROVKA?”
Or AI/Deep Fake-generated phantasm?
“most people in the United States have bought into the myth that the Russian Army is a paper tiger wracked by corruption and cowardly, craven leaders”
Even as we resort to using drag queens and pronouns to try to entice Gen Z to enlist in the military – because, hey, it’s important that everyone, no matter how crazy fu*ked in the head they are, should feel included in Wall Street’s global killing machine.
We can only hope that it is a trans person of color who launches the last nuclear weapon.
Ghost of Mozgovoy says
Prighozin appeared some few days agom before his rant, showing an arsenal took over in Soledar which could arm, according to him, a million men army…
Following he appears ranting against the Russian MoD because of proyectile shortage when it is some 6 % of Bkahmut left only to be retaken, and that happens on the verge of Victory Day….
Wagner is a private enterprise, which, as it is the current tendence the world wide, inititated through “the pandemic” of the Davos Forum, benefitts from “private-public partnership”, that is, public funding and private gains, as we have witnessed with the “vaccines” business, which is a win-win for the private Big pharma as they gain billions without having to face loses and even side effects demands….
It could well be that Prighozin is trying to rearm his arsenals or trying to make an exchange of the Soledar depot for something else he needs to replenish for future campaigns, if possible on the cheap, either on the back of Russian taxpayers, or may be on other Russian liberal oligarchs…
On the other hand, pending a 6% of Artyomovsk to be taken, I doubt it is possible for the Russian government to allow a private military contractor to take over definitely of the city and delclare victory, all the more in the previous days of Victory Day where the heroic fate of the Red Army is celebrated along the sacrifice of some 27 millions of Russian citizens in the last Patriotic War…
Some even argue that Prighozin may be holding presidential ambitions after his group´s popular success gained through the Ukrainian war….showing in the way to the West that Guatemala is always a way better option than Guatepeor….with regard a possible rotation of Russian elites….
Ghost of Mozgovoy says
Prigozhin exabruptos following immediately the “attack” on the Kremlin, shows the world, especially Western, what is probably to expect once Putin dies or goes…..
The stuff I saw in the Soledar mine photos looked like antique weapons from WW1. I think the useful stuff had long gone. It took a while to take that town and I’m sure the Ukies took out what they wanted before it fell.
Ghost of Mozgovoy says
But, the military business seems to join “renevable energies” as the business of the day in deindustrialized Europe, as the 1000 million of euro from European Peace Fund destined to “arms for Ukraine”, that is, sending what is in European arsenals so as to buy new arms from the MIC.
The purchase is going to be managed by no other than Thierry Breton, as it was the purchase of “vaccines” during “the pandemic”, showing what interests he serves this member of Bank of America board of directors….
The war is not going to last for ever, as the harsh fighting between hardliners and moderates amongst the Russian elites intensifies, and the West risk those wanting to arrive into Poland´s borders arriving in power, and Progozhin knows that wherever is a market, their is for sure a profitable black market…
Btw, that, as we talk about Ukraine War, amongst the continuous promotion through the media of the new fear of the day, “climate chnage” plus “renevable business”, natural assets, like water, are in the process of being privatized and turned into stocks exchange commodities, as it happened during the “pandemic” with public health care in Europe, through so called “public-private partnership”, that is huge gains for the transnational corporations while public manteinance and subventions, turning what was a cheap vital basic resource into increasingly expensive luxury commodity, as it is happening with energy.
This translates into the loss of food sovereignty through the erasing of agriculture and willing desertization for future enslavization to food transnational corporations of what was a few years ago a farm power exporting its surplus to other countries….like Russia….
That is what is behind the astounding number of dams demolition in Spain, the highest number in Europe, instigated by the European Comission, and what they mean by “you will own nothing and will be happy”….while Morocco builds its own….Simply, agro-business is being diverted towards US preferent partner in North Africa, Morocco, by US agents in the European Comission, while a market of 46 million is set to be enslaved and sucked to the bones by current foreign agents of Davos in charge….
Meanwhile, continue watching Charles III´s, “King of Malthusianism and World Piratery”, coronation…
“Prighozin appeared some few days agom before his rant, showing an arsenal took over in Soledar which could arm, according to him, a million men army…”
The arsenal worth of a museum (Thompson, PPSh, Maxim).
Well, this is a big mystery for the moment, that’s for damned sure. I listened to the Duran duo swallowing the madman take hook, line, and sinker and commented there that it smells too fishy to me. I read the article above and ALL of the comments.
To me it’s a hard call but at the end of the day, as the Brits would say, I’m inclined to go with it being a con job, just seems too theatrical for my taste.
I can be wrong and he is having a mega meltdown, but if true he’s toast. The club that he is so aggressively calling out is not going to be happy at all, regardless of how much can be true. There is a saying that he who tells the truth better have one foot in the sturip.
I do believe one commenter here above that Rx and Ch are playing the long game totally aware of what they are up against well knowing that the USA/EU/West is totally nuts. They are watching it eat itself in real time hoping that it will crash and burn without taking the rest of the world with it.
Wishful thinking perhaps.
Mark J says
Couple F-35’s just flew over the house here. 0930pst…Low too…. I could see faces..what’s that… 800’AGL? Practice … visiting our local F 15 training base. Some body has a budget..
Had war paint stripes on them…
Multiple sources , Hal Turner, Military Summary Channel, Salva Z…. all report large incendiary bombing by RU in Bahkmut. Maybe the Wagner ranting..for what every reason, had prompted the “cheaper method” of war.
“…. all report large incendiary bombing by RU in Bahkmut. ”
Not just reporting, there are videos. Absolute Hell on Earth. I have never seen anything like it.
The Ukies choices in that inferno are to bunker down and be roasted, or cut and run and be sniped or blown to bits by arty. Not sure which I would choose….
Good luck to the Russians on fighting the hot war wiz Nazi.
We Chinese are fighting another war using treasuries and currencies on MIC and wallstreet.
Salute to the red army.
IMO, Russia wants Ukraine to launch its much anticipated offensive, so they can be properly crushed and overrun by a Russian counteroffensive. So….
A Maskirovka, but one perhaps targeted at the voters in the West. They are increasingly unhappy with the attention payed to Ukraine when more pressing issues exist in their homes.
While Western elected leaders routinely ignore the will of their people, they know there is a limit. So, they put pressure on Ukraine to ‘get on with it’. The results doesn’t matter.
The Maskirovka provides cover for the Western leaders, as well. If Ukraine wins a victory, the Western leaders can take credit. If, as is likely, Ukraine is defeated, the Western leaders can say that ‘Ukraine had every advantage’, but through incompetence and corruption failed.
This is followed by a China brokered peace, largely on Russian terms.
Nice that Larry brought up Kadyrov and the Chechen forces.
I have been wondering for some time where all of them are.
Are all of them back home recuperating and training, as Larry suggest? Or are some of them along the contact line, embedded with other regular RF or LDNR forces?
How many of them are there in total? I vaguely recall some articles/posts here and there of them raising headcount by recruiting and training net-new units?
Anyway, these are military issues, and the RF GS will no doubt be handling them.
Separately, on the political side of things, CEIP had this analysis:
The headline is actually the opposite of the conclusion, which was nothing out of the ordinary. Conclusion, things going to stay pretty much the same w.r.t. Chechnya and it’s relations with the central government.
Vassily Z. says
It doesn’t really matter, whether Prigozhin plays a con on the world or not. What i find dangerous is the cult of personality he generated.
Basically the entirety of Russian “military blogging” scene – most of whom are, at best, ex-world of tanks players – is completely in love with the man. At the same time they consider Russian MOD to be corrupt, incompetent and full of traitors.
Every time Shoigu says or does something they remind us that he’s not a real military person, only serving in EMERCOM. Same with Gerasimov, Lapin and basically anyone else, aside from, maybe, Surovikin. And even that guy only gets a pass because Kadyrov and Prigozhin said he was OK.
This generates an unhealthy atmosphere, where the readers of these “military bloggers” revere Wagner troops as heroes and regular Russian military is viewed with disdain and disgust. How, in this climate, are they expecting people to volunteer for military service is beyond me.
Another potential danger is an ultra-patriotic “maidan”. Clearly a liberal pro-western one is not on the cards at the moment, with all the active liberals gone and only their sleeper cells remaining. However there’s still a substantial Stalinist and Imperialist factions within Russia, which are both united by their hatred towards every figure of power short of Putin himself. Those people are not anywhere near positions of power, but they are active readers of these “military blogs”, so they’re galvanized adrenaline-hungry pro-war junkies, who can’t stop scrolling telegram channels.
For them any day Kiev isn’t bombed with nukes is a day wasted. I genuinely think they’ll go mad once Russian forces retreat to preserve their manpower during the coming offensive.
So, whichever of the 3 possibilities of Prigozhin’s rant we consider – a con, an honest complaint or an overreaction – all of them only exacerbate an existing problem within Russian society.
I go with Larry and drama. Russia never lets on about anything unless they mean to. When someone speaks it is to tell a truth or spread some jelly that they want west/ nazi’s to believe. Wagner’s talk infighting, Ukr’s understand this and believe it. Russia just feeds them crap and they eat it up.
If they believe Wagner and decide Artemovsk is the place to be and rush in for gloriousness for Ukraine and find the same old meat grinder; 99% chance.
Just lay the bait and western training will do the rest to concentrate them in the fire zone and relieve them of existence. 3 armies down, how many to go?
This is so stupid you have to wonder who is writing this book.
Soooo, a brief review of what’s happened here:
Wagner Group Leader Prigozhin releases daily updates on Wagner’s methodical gains in Bakhmut, routinely complaining of poor ‘logistics’ support….. lack of ammunition.
Col. General Mikhail Mizintsev (Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia for ‘logistics’) resigns (or is sacked) from the military in April and almost immediately becomes Deputy Commander of the Wagner Group.
Prigozhin goes on his rant against Generals Shoigu and Gerasimov bitterly complaining of lack of ‘logistical’ support, corruption and incompetence.
Russia unleashes large bombing raids on Bakhmut.
Could it be that the Russian military placed Mizintsev in Wagner to tighten control of the group?
Could it be that Prigozhin lost his ‘hook’ with the Russian military command …Col. General Mizintsev, known for orchestrating bombing campaigns in Syria and Mariupol, who may have been unhappy with Generals Shoigu and Gerasimov for being sacked? … resulting in a revenge rant?
Logistics does seem to be a common theme. Russian news ran a story showing General Shoigu inspecting rows and rows of new battle tanks and other military hardware, presumably to demonstrate the military has no serious logistical problems.
Today Russia unleashed a ‘Mizintsev style’ bombing attack on Bakhmut.
Who knows for sure how this plays out?
Marcos aguilera says
I’m inclined to think the same as Larry, I think it’s all theatrics, a while ago Chief Wagner had declared that he lost about 90 men on a bad day of combat, then we see this video showing 30 bodies and performing, when the number of fallen would be within what is acceptable if we take previous statements, we are also seeing wagner’s continuous advances, there are only a few hundred meters to go. I think it’s a hoax.
Moon of Alabama has a post on this Prigozhin outburst. The gist is that Wagner seems to have had plenty of ammunition – which they used within 12 hours of Progozhin’s rant.
Curt Nichols says
The true horror for Ukraine. Prigozhin’s tantrum happens to coincide with the news that the tanned, rested, and ready Chechen Akhmat troops are rotating into Bakhmut. Ukrainian troops are constantly deployed, or under fire, or running to a new deployment. The Chechens have been resting since Mariupol. The Russians are rotating troops in and out They are “training”. Contemplate the horror of that.
And on a personal note? As an Army E-5, if you told me we were going against the French? I would immediately start the betting pool on when they start selling their women. The Chinese are going to be a nightmare, but you could pull up your big boy pants and do it. Because they haven’t fought a war in forever. No knock on the Chinese. But only killing trains killers. The Chechens? Fundamentalist Muslims with modern training, armament, and discipline? That are tickled to die? That got the Honors graduate course in Mariupol recently? I’d be seeing how much of my mad money I could spend on some debauchery before I was sent to that theater of operations.
Prigozhin is a civilian.
I don’t think he has had any formal training in Russian MOD.
IMO Civilians should not have any command presence on the battlefield period.
Since he not an officially Russian trained officer he should keep his mouth shut.
Spirit of the Wind. says
The fact Russia can afford to withdraw troops to refit then redeploy shows strength not weakness and a high level of organisation and logistics.
Allied forces on the Western front and Russians in the East did this in WW2, the German army not so much.
Red Herring, definitely.
what happens if Russia becomes more aggressive with the aerial edge they are supposed to have?
Curt Nichols says
Larry as I ponder this article on transgender CIA officers? Have I ever mentioned my “We are doomed” thesis?
al jaid says
Penso que o homem ficou verdadeiramente cansado do pouco apoio que lhe tem sido fornecido em armamento, entre outros.
A ira estalou, sem qualquer teatralidade ou objetivos ocultos.
Ver abaixo a entrevista dada ontem:
Al jair says
– “O assentamento de Bakhmut não tem significado estratégico para o avanço para o oeste”, disse Prigozhin.
“400 dias de hostilidades: Prigozhin respondeu em um longo artigo por que PMCs “Wagner” deixam Bakhmut”
Prigozhin’s rant provides a little entertainment in the form of Russian Kabuki theater as Russia amasses a force of 500K+ near the front lines. Obviously Prigozhin does not like to receive rations but the excess ammunition is needed for the forthcoming Russian offensive that will immediately commence after the disastrous failure of the Ukrainian offensive.
On a Russian telegram channel the following was posted in response to the Ukraine buildup near Kherson:
The Russian army is also preparing its own offensive in this direction. Our troops plan to return the right bank of the Kherson region, as well as completely liberate the Zaporozhye region — recently it became known that there are already talks about possible candidates for the posts of heads of territories that are still in the hands of the Ukrainian authorities.
Mark J says
Remember our old friend: Death Ask any preacher….any service person….any morgue person…
Death has his day. Some times…and elder brother gets thrashed by death and goes on a “PTSD” rant….
…….and in comes a younger brother…Akhmat….. to dance with our oldest friend: Death. There is that acrid smell….of death. After a few days..there is the nitrates..and the gag/puke factor….. our friend is t here….. People eventually are effected by stacking the bodies.
It is all very understandable.
Kadyrov to Prigogine:
“You say that you took Popasnaya, but I officially declare to you that we all participated there. And in other places where you felt bad, you turned to the Chechen brothers.
The head of Chechnya also said that Wagner PMC did not work in the most difficult areas (as Prigozhin said), but where it was convenient for her. According to Kadyrov, the last 2 square kilometers of Bakhmut turned out to be the most difficult section, and Wagner did not manage to take it – Akhmat will take it.”
Rexford Gibbs says
Some say Gonzalo’s CIA.
This is late to the party, but for a different take on Prigozhin go to this video from Brian Berletic of The New Atlas interviewing Mark Sleboda: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwRF7FYWIyI Start at the 39 minute mark.
Also Simplicius (https://substack.com/@simplicius76) has two posts that provide a useful perspective. Just keep in mind that in war the first casualty is truth.
k. talaat says
To add to an intelligent analysis and a plausible scenario for deception, one more possibility.
Could it also be an excuse to have both forces, Wagner and the Chechn in the same place under the appearance of a hand off, while the plan is to keep the Wagner holding what will become the rear, once the fresh Chechnyan forces goble up new territory, mainly Oddessa, where house to house figting by the Chechn will be needed to protect the cultural value Oddessa holds in the Russian psyche.
Larry Johnson says
Yes, another reasonable scenario.
This isn’t the first time Prigozhin has done this disgusting, disrespectful, stunt of doing a video in front of fallen Wagner soldiers. A few months ago he made a similar video and he spoke about lack of artillery shells. Prigozhin is a glory hound, pr/media whore. His head has gotten so big that he believes Wagner is responsible for all of the Russian victories in Ukraine and Syria. He disrespected Wagner soldiers and dishonored himself by making such a video. It showed he did not value the sacrifice of Wagner soldiers by posing in front of their dead bodies. All the things he has said he could actually be criminally charged. He is in violation of several new Russian laws such as disparaging the Russian military. He is a civilian, but is the head of a Russian military created semi-private group so he could also be charged with several military law violations such as giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Russia needs to remove him now as he has not only become an embarrassment, but he is now serving the interests of the Ukrainian side.
The most important claim to Prigozhin for this disgusting act: to take a selfie against the background of the torn corpses of fighters previously assembled in a pile.
It’s immoral. This is a way of influencing emotions. This is manipulation.
Melotte 22 says
And we know those were Wagner troops how?
J Williams says
Just to be safe, Prigozhin might want to make sure he only stays in ground floor hotel rooms for the next while.
James K says
Chances are Prigozhin’s strategy is simply to liberate as much territory as possible. While his PMC may be top-notch in the skills department, his “gung-ho” attitude likely draws the ire of Russian politicians still trying to abate NATO’s wrath by keeping the SMO going “as slow as possible” and also buy Russia whatever more time they can.
Rather demoralizing for Prigozhin, but a sizable NATO-defying capable Russian MIC is not really something that can be magically created in just a mere “snap” of Putin’s fingers anyway. So, Prigozhin is not there to actually win anything at all — he is simply there merely to “delay” the Ukrainians + NATO as much as possible on behalf of the Russian government.
And yet, even if Prigozhin himself knew that, he would still have to keep complaining just the same as well too; but this time, on behalf of all his troops and the Russian public — both of whom just want a quick victory in this whole SMO anyway, while not wanting to hear about any shortcomings of their own government and military anytime in the process!
It’s not a war of territory at the moment, it’s a war of attrition. the territory comes later. LOL at “abate NATO’s wrath”; it is trying to avoid a nuclear war with NATO’s puppetmaster. you don’t fear a lunatic’s wrath, you fear a lunatic’s lunacy.
James K says
Lol call it “lunacy” or “wrath” or whatever you want — the choice of words simply doesn’t matter here as it’s all “some act of retribution” in the end.
And when you say “the territory comes later” — do you have an actual deadline in mind for said “territory”, or merely just “hoping” that it will come later at a completely unspecified and indefinite time? There is a difference, you know — a deadline is a concrete claim that be analyzed and taken seriously, while the latter is merely wishful thinking about “something that would sound nice in theory maybe if it might happen” and that’s all there is to it.
After all — I’m sure those all folks getting shelled by Ukraine in the Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and other oblasts certainly care about their “”territory””, right? So wouldn’t you think there would be a deadline by now? (hint — there isn’t one because all of this is clearly a delay tactic for a militarily sedentary regime still trying to get its own MIC to catch up to decades and decades of enemy NATO expansion (plus NATO “partners” worldwide as well). And delay tactics are only there for one and one thing only — to deescalate as much as possible in order to buy as much time as possible. So therefore, if capturing Bakhmut is deemed “too escalatory” against the likes of NATO, Russia will simply have to hold back Wagner one way or another).
Teddius Rexivult says
The reason I agree with this narrative is that I have not seen the Russian military actually fold like the paper tiger it allegedly is. There has been a lot of avoiding conflict, for sure, along with territorial losses. There have been movements toward a couple of cities.
However, consider the narrative which explains the situation in the theatre: Russia is unable to fight, poorly trained, unmotivated, logistically stunted. It’s too extreme to believe. If it was remotely true, and everyone agrees this is somehow existential for Russia, then we would at least see lots of fighting and lots of failure. We would see dozens of black eyes for Ukraine as Russia’s alleged paper troops fold and tear in the attempt to fight.
But where’s the fighting?
And then we notice how entire battalions get months off of R&R, more training, regrouping. What a convenient war for Russia.
I have enough schadenfreude to hope to see NAFO twitterati taken down a few pegs, but that’s an awful way to feel during a war. Instead, I can commit to some sense of knowing that the West is in desperate need of narrative shock therapy. Smelling salts.
Multipolarity is great, but the West is what it is because of many decades of monopolizing many important institutions of industrial modernity. We don’t need a BRICS world. We need a multipolar world with a healthy West participating. Maybe a doomed West is better than unipolar dystopia, but the best thing would be an awakening in the West, a turning of the tide. Yeah, unlikely. Still, Russia’s moment to prove a point to the world is here and we’re waiting.
War at its core ought to be an efficient auction that determines the value of defensive investments, that prices them, where military spending goes mostly to weapons that never have to be used. Quick, small wars to reset prices as times change. At least, this is the economic function of war.
But the West has made war into a dialectical, traumatic mind control machine of geopolitical alchemy.
I’m anti-war. But the West’s version of “war” is a hellish beast far more wicked than Eurasian border conflicts.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
The glaring flaw in your hypothesis is that Akhmat is supposed to take over Artëmovsk from Wagner.
The treasonous Shoigu and Gerasimov folded.
Wagner got a battle order to continue with guarantees of getting the needed ammunition as well as flank protection. And the only honorable high ranking officer in the Russian regular army, Surovikin, will be their contact.
The Russian Army has only produced a long series of failures: the retreat from Kiev, Sumi, Nikolaev region, the debacle and humiliating retreat in Kharkov while the three stooges (Putin, Gerasimov, Shoigu) were on a effing exercise in Siberia, the retreat from Kherson, the New Year tragedy, the headless head-on attack on Ugledar by their assumed best marines.
And every time the Western pro-Russian side screams maskirovka, a word everybody and their dog learned a year ago. That’s their childish coping mechanism. Let it be clear. There has not been any maskirovka in this war. This is a WYSIWYG war. A failure is failure. A win is a win. And since the LPR/Wagner/Chechens took Lisichansk 10 months ago there have been no wins only failures.
The mighty Wagners, the amazing L/DPR forces and the incredible Chechens have already won this war. The Russian army has until now been as bad and corrupt as any Western army. Hopefully they’ve spent the last year to prepare so that they finally can show some of their forefathers’ strength. Otherwise they will have to call on Surovikin to save them yet another time.
“the retreat from Kiev”
Oh, that line, that the Russians tried to take Kiev at the beginning but failed… Silly.
How come you forget to mention that they had to “retreat” from Snake Island which the Ukies then victoriously conquered?
The incursion into Kiev/Sumy/Kharkov ended in retreat and failure with the Bucha false flag being the final slap in the face. As one who earns his living from uncertainty I acknowledge that this operation may have been Russia’s best bet and may even have been the right thing to do considering the lamentable state of the regular Russian army. But it still ended in failure. And the Russian leadership didn’t learn anything. Yet another failure in Kharkov was needed until they got around to a partial mobilization.
Considering Gerasimov’s emphasis on non-military warfare (intelligence, economy, information, humanitarian, politics, etc.) as well as armed confrontation he is the one to blame. He failed in both respects.
CNN called. They want their talking points back.
Prigojin (spelling to better reflect pronunciation, as in he case of Soljenitsyn)), is a billionaire businessman. I would not say he is better at it because he is jewish but for sure he is demonstrably better at it than most or else he would not be a billionaire. As such he would not foolishly bite the hand that feeds him.
It is possible, however, that this is pre-approved theater to which he added his personal flourishes (pet peeves against some in the Russian military leadership) which, as a histrion, he could not resist. Like hiring Zelensky to dance at a family festivity and he showing up in high heels and makeup.
Some of the excess rhetorical pyrotechnics in his staged video may have rubbed the Russian leadership the wrong way but if he ended up confusing the Ukies and comforting the West in the belief that Russia has an ammunition problem so the Ukies can safely get back into the Artemyovask cauldron, it’s OK.
The problem of the West is they can think of Russians in only two extreme modes: 1. the Russians are dumb; 2. The Russians are devilishly clever chess players, so any small event is the result of incredible planning.
Silly to think Prigojin has any PTS syndrome. Billionaires who organize mercenary armies for profit don’t get sentimental.
Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin who is appointed as a link between PMC WAGNER and the Ministry of Defense commented on the situation:
“From the very beginning of the SVO, I was in contact with Yevgeny Prigozhin and shared my opinion on some military operations. From the very beginning, I spoke out in the Ministry against limiting the supply of weapons to them. I was restricted as much as possible, but now I have achieved this. I have achieved a concrete solution that will move our front from its place. Yes, it was worth a lot for me, but thankfully the train started moving. Shells are already being shipped and production is increasing. In the near future, a regrouping of some units will be scheduled and a blockade of the remaining nationalists in Bakhmut will be organized. Victory will be ours!”
HMS Terror says
Thanks for the Surovikin quote.
Parsing his words, he’s telling us that the dispute has a long history, that his argument has won and that he took some hits in winning it. In short, somebody was keeping Wagner on a short leash, presumably for political rather than military reasons. Kadyrov said the same thing about the Akhmat forces last year, and the Donbas militias have voiced similar complaints since furrevahh.
I’m not the first to suggest that Surovikin is headed for the top job in the Russian military, but it looks like he won a major political battle here. As quite probably the only man who could do it, Prigozhin went over the top and risked a crash ‘n burn landing to give Surovikin (et al) the edge he needed.
Teddius Rexivult says
It appears we have the answer to this question.
The drama is half true, yes, but it’s also leveraging weakness by exaggerating the drama and baiting Ukraine.
We see that AFU is already trying to capitalize on the Wagner drama and is rediverted “counter-offensive” troops back to Bakhmut again, and now Prigozhin is already back in the saddle with Wagner there, already.
No big grand play here, just continued success for operation meat grinder, though played well.
The big Russian offensive hasn’t materialized because it’s high-risk, unnecessary as of yet, diplomatically looks bad, and NATO has not so subtly threatened nuclear false flag escalation.
It’s Wagner Group, after the composer Richard Wagner, I assume, not Wagoner.
“a brutal dictator who brokers no dissent. ”
Yes, I insist on petty pedantry. No, I am not ashamed.
HMS Terror says
Evgeny Prigozhin — Truth Teller, Mad Man or Maskirovka?
The fact that Prigozhin got everything he wanted, with a Surovikinian cherry on top vindicates my comment in the previous thread (https://sonar21.com/my-chat-with-rasheed-muhammad-on-the-red-pill-diaries/#comment-129960). He was none of the above.
Prigozhin was speaking for a powerful faction who wanted to force some internal dispute into the open and bring it to a head. It is not clear whether that faction was limited to the MoD, or to the Security Council, or spans both. My guess is the latter.
It would not surprise me in the least if Shoigu and/or Gerasimov “retire” soon. I’d be equally unsurprised if they, in fact supported Prigozhin’s message, took a hit for the team and will now use the crisis to purge the MoD.
As FDR famously said to a Labour delegation: “I like your policy ideas. Now, force me to implement them.” (from memory) IOW, FDR told the delegation to create the political running room he needed to overcome the opposition within his Administration.
However excessive his performance may have been, Prigozhin’s outbursts catapulted an internal dispute to the point of crisis, which his backers needed to make the moves needed to resolve it.
At any rate, my spidey sense tells me the SMO will now move to a new level. It seems to be moving already.
Mike Hampton says
Prigozhin exists because Putin wants him to.
Whatever that role is, the secondary benefit is that pointing fingers helps keep his embattled unit together. The world chose a side, that Bakhmut is a killing zone for Russia or Ukraine. Logically, Ukraine has screamed the most but Wagners have screamed too. It must be hell persuading troops to move forward. Loyalty helps. Pointing fingers helps loyalty.
Whilst Bakhmut is important, I’m also with it being a distraction. People are dying, every day, over 1000km. Wagners are not Russia, only part of it.
Putin is a good strategist, so I expect he has hidden intention. Or maybe it’s as simple as Bakhmut supporting the Ukrainian trap for itself, that some kind of offensive must happen. Religion is repetition becoming belief. Ukraine would lose more troops in attacking than defending. Maybe that’s the real kill zone.
It seems to me we are seeing a bait put by de Russian military to make the stupid West start the called “counter offensive”, thinking that the Russians and their align are weakening in the battlefields.
Mike Hampton says
‘Bloody Bakhmut is Falling… into Zelensky’s Shame’
After 9 months, Bloodbath Bakhmut is falling. Soon, scared, maimed and dying Ukrainian soldiers won’t have to scream in the “Meat Grinder”. Maybe Ukraine is falling. Russia stands on the dead, proud captor of buildings like holes and earth like charcoal.
There’s the possibility that I’m lying. After all, John Kirby, retired Admiral and ex-spokesperson for the Pentagon, and now spokesperson for the National Security Council, stated on May 2 that:
“Russia’s attempt at an offensive in the Donbas, largely through Bakhmut, has failed.”
“and the West, like a bored dog, is frantically chasing Russian squirrels that have nothing to do with the force Russia has in reserve waiting for the right moment to strike.”
Yes I have heard all about this great Russian reserve just waiting to strike since the war started. Where is it? Wasn’t it supposed to be used for the Great Russian Winter Offensive?
Prior to that, it was to be used to unleash on the Ukes during their Kherson offensive, you know, lure the Ukes in then crush them.
I can confirm that Russian reserves never existed, just like Great Russian Winter Offensive, and Kiev Falling in Three Days, and many other things. We in Pentagon made all that up, in order to make this defeat more humiliating for those damn Russkies. Now they will learn not to mess with us. After this great victory, we will make big gay parade in Washington, and move onto the real enemy of freedom and equality and democracy and unlimited money printing. Everyone should join US military, because TSMC won’t blow itself up.