A Bird’s-Eye View of the Wagner Group Mutiny

Wagner Group tank on the streets of Rostov-on-Don (SIBERIA painted on front — read into it what you will)

Thanks to my background in Soviet/Russian affairs, I’ve been following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with enormous interest — and great sympathy for the victims of this brutal, unprovoked aggression.

The lightning-fast events of the past two days — the notorious Wagner Group’s aborted mutiny against Russia’s war criminal president, Vladimir Putin — really got my attention. I did my best to follow the story as it unfolded on Twitter, which I found to be a rich source of timely news.

Mostly, I just retweeted items I felt might be of interest to the tiny audience that, theoretically, follows me on Twitter (@Howard_Pen4Rent). In a few cases, however, I posted some comments.

What follows is a record, through my comments and the posts that triggered them, of a roller-coaster journey through the coup led by the Wagner Group’s boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin. For any readers who became acquainted with this guy only recently, you should know that he and his “private military company” are responsible for probably tens of thousands of deaths (perhaps hundreds of thousands) not only in Ukraine, but in Syria and across much of Africa. He has had deserters “executed” by having their heads bashed in with a sledge hammer. So when you read, below, that I think of Prigozhin as a SOB (as I do Putin), you’ll know why.

In what follows, my comments are in bold text. (Dates/times shown are in California.)

6/23/23, 3:33 pm
WOW! IF this turns out to be true. To think that Putin is thinking about fleeing to Uruguay! Hard to believe, but wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of him. Next problem — who will be the next SOB in charge. Not likely to be any kind of Jeffersonian democrat.
Reference: Anton Gerashchenko, @Gerashchenko_en, Advisor to Ukraine Minister of Internal Affairs
Russian media: “The source says there is panic in the Kremlin, no one can reach Putin”
“Source: Right now the Kremlin is negotiating about something with general governor Dyumin”
“Source: Some people in the Kremlin, from the presidential administration, are finding out about a possible emergency relocation. One of the few available destinations is Uruguay”.

6/23/23, 8:05 pm
Wonderful news if true. The rats are leaving the sinking ship.
Reference: @visegrad24, Aggregating and curating news, politics, current affairs, history and culture from Central and Eastern Europe
A plane belonging to the Lukashenko family [Lukashenko, a Putin ally, is the dictator of Belarus] took off from Belarus a few hours ago and is now over Turkey. It’s time to make the Russian Army leave Belarus and for Belarus to join the family of democratic European states.

6/23/23, 8:08 pm
We can hope!
Reference: @YVindman, Veteran, Lawyer, War Crimes Sleuth, Immigrant
It’s hard for me to imagine Russian forces in Ukraine staying and fighting while there is an insurrection at home. If this persists / gathers momentum, I can see a rapid collapse of Russian forces in Ukraine.

6/23/23, 8:15 pm
Quite true. “There are no good guys in this.” Putin and Prigozhin are both cold-blooded murderers.
Reference: @ColinPClarke, Director of Research @TheSoufanCenter
Many folks in the West cheerleading the current chaos in #Russia. I’m no fan of #Putin or #Prighozin (an understatement), but be careful what you wish for; you just might get it. Total anarchy in a nuclear-armed nation is never a good thing. There are no good guys in this.

6/23/23, 8:26 pm
Wow! Voronezh is nearly halfway to Moscow from Rostov, and Lipetsk is even closer to Moscow. And you’ve got to assume that FSB [the successor to the USSR’s KGB (secret police)] is likely to defend the Putin regime. Or will a whole lot of people now turn on him? Maybe he should skedaddle when he still can, like Lukashenko.
Reference: @Tendar, Tyrants are my enemies.
Shootings have started in Voronezh region. According to RosZMI the FSB is evacuating its troops in Voronezh and Lipetsk.

6/24/23, 12:56 am
When the going gets tough, the tough get out the vodka.
Reference: Igor Sushko, @igorsushko, Born in Ukraine, American
Russia: “The governors of Voronezh and Lipetsk regions are panicking. Lipetsk governor Artamonov is drunk. Almost no one in Moscow answers [the phone], they don’t know what to do.”

Wagner Group troops on the streets of Rostov-on-Don

6/24/23, 1:01 am
I have the feeling that Putin has less than a day to live.
Reference: Dmitri, @wartranslated, Estonian translating the war in Ukraine
Full morning of [defiant] 24 June address by Putin: Critical Excerpts: “What we’re facing is exactly internal betrayal … treason. Any internal mutiny is a deadly threat to our state … And our actions to defend the fatherland from such a threat will be brutal.

6/24/23, 1:44 am
Looks like everyone’s deserting Putin. [written after seeing numerous reports of Russian troops failing to confront the Wagner advance] He’ll soon be dethroned or dead. The question then is where Prigozhin will lead Russia (if he stays in charge). I think he’ll abandon Ukraine and withdraw to 1991 boundaries. But peace with the West will not be easy for either him or us.
Reference: Jay, @realblackmonk, Dark but full of light, anti-fascist. social justice.
(Replying to Dmitri, @wartranslated, Estonian translating the war in Ukraine.) There’s no win-win situation for Putin here. He has to fight and destroy Wagner or fold and flee in shame. Sacking Shoigu/Gerasimov isn’t a viable option. It will only expose his weakness and desperation. It will show Wagner now calls the shots.

6/24/23, 2:14 am
All three of them are SOBs — Putin, Prigozhin, Kadyrov. May they all come to a gruesome end.
Reference: @visegrad24, Aggregating and curating news, politics, current affairs, history and culture from Central and Eastern Europe
BREAKING: Kadyrov releases a statement, saying that Prigozhin has stabbed Russia in the back and that Kadyrov has sent [his] Chechen soldiers to fight against the Wagner Group

6/24/23, 8:18 am
As if further proof were needed, the mullahs’ support for Putin (a valued customer!) confirms what a bunch of murderous bastards they are. Biden, stop trying to make a nuke deal with them. They’re playing you for a fool. Don’t show the world they’re correct in that assessment.
Reference: Mark Dubowitz, @mdubowitz, CEO, FDD [Foundation for Defense of Democracies]
IRGC [Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps] supporting Putin in light of Wagner Group actions. Here’s an example from an IRGC affiliated telegram channel stating: “If necessary, just as we prevented the fall of Assad, we will prevent the fall of Putin.”

6/24/23, 8:59 am
Putin’s probably thinking of the last hours of Mussolini, Ceaușescu and Gaddafi. May HIS last hours be as miserable and frightening as theirs were.
Reference: Anton Gerashchenko, @Gerashchenko_en, Advisor to Ukraine Minister of Internal Affairs
Leonid Nevzlin: Putin is hiding in the bunker of his residence in Valdai. His closest friends and associates also flew there. The dictator is in a panic. Additional troops advanced towards Valdai to protect him. My sources just said this. twitter.com/Nevzlin/status…

6/24/23, 9:08 am
For all these SOBs — Putin’s, Prigozhin’s, Kadyrov’s — justice is going to be meted out wholesale, and it won’t look pretty.
Reference: Anton Gerashchenko, @Gerashchenko_en, Advisor to Ukraine Minister of Internal Affairs
Russian Telegram channels are spreading video of the alleged Wagner PMC [Private Military Company] disarming the first Akhmat [Kadyrov’s Chechen] fighters.

6/24/23, 9:19 am
He’d sell most of them to buyers with cash (Biden, don’t give the ayatollahs any more money!), and keep a few for “insurance.”
Reference: Anton Gerashchenko, @Gerashchenko_en, Advisor to Ukraine Minister of Internal Affairs
Either Prigozhin will be destroyed within 24 hours by a missile strike ordered by Putin, or he will take over the Kremlin and declare himself as Russian military dictator. What comes next will be civil war and Russia’s disintegration. My concern is what will happen to the thousands of nuclear warheads, on missiles and planes, if Prigozhin controls them.

Wagner Group tank on the streets of Rostov-on-Don

6/24/23, 9:50 am
When, at long last, things settle down in Russia, at least some of these rats will be ratted out, tracked down and brought back to Moscow in chains, like Pugachev, to face “justice” (in whatever form it may take).
Reference: Michael McFaul, @McFaul, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, 2012-2014
Rats are jumping
Further reference: Thomas van Linge, @ThomasVLinge
#Russia oligarch and longtime #Putin-ally, Arkady Rotenberg has fled to #Azerbaijan. His private plane was tracked, flying to #Baku today.

6/24/23, 10:00 am
Heartening to learn (if true) that Iran is not taking Putin’s calls. Hope to see at least this portion of the Axis of Evil (Putin’s Russia, mullahs’ Iran, CCP [Chinese Communist Party]) crack up. Another (speculative) hope — that fall of Putin leads to fall of Assad (Syria) and, perhaps, Iran’s mullahs.
Reference: Mike Madrid, @madrid_mike, Co-Founder The Lincoln Project
Chechnya vs Wagner in Rostov. Putin fortifying Moscow by destroying his own infrastructure. Iran not taking his calls. Belarus leader flees. Ukraine crosses the Dnieper. Helluva 48 hours.

6/24/23, 12:00 pm
Excellent news! (And nice to see something concrete, as opposed to all the puzzling and often contradictory reports and speculation about events and non-events in Russia.)
Reference: Anton Gerashchenko, @Gerashchenko_en, Advisor to Ukraine Minister of Internal Affairs
Hanna Maliar, Deputy Minister of Defense Of Ukraine, posted the following information on her Twitter account about the advance of Ukrainian troops:
“EAST The eastern group of troops today began an offensive in several directions simultaneously. In the direction of Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Bakhmut, Bohdanivka, Yahidne, Klishchiivka, Kurdiumivka. There is an advance in all directions. In the Kupiansk, Lyman, and Mariinka directions, the enemy tried to advance but failed to do so. In Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions, the enemy carried out air strikes and artillery fire.
SOUTH Heavy fighting continues in all directions of the offensive. The enemy is on the defensive, making great efforts to stop our offensive. At the same time, the enemy suffers significant losses of personnel, weapons, and equipment. ” Glory to Ukrainian Defenders!

6/24/23, 12:15 pm
Yes. “Protecting our vital national interests, which means supporting Ukraine and stopping the reconstitution of the Soviet Union.”
Reference: Mike Pompeo, @mikepompeo, Fmr U.S. SecState & CIA Director
While the situation in Russia is unclear, the outcome is likely the same. A strongman will be in charge of Russia. America’s focus should remain the same. Protecting our vital national interests, which means supporting Ukraine and stopping the reconstitution of the Soviet Union.

6/24/23, 12:24 pm
Let’s hope so!
Reference: Drew Pavlou, @DrewPavlou, Aussie human rights activist, fighting totalitarian regimes. Anti-Kremlin, Anti-CCP.
Today is a warning to Xi Jinping. This is what will happen to you and your regime if you try and invade Taiwan

6/24/23, 3:51 pm
Somehow I don’t think the final chapter has been written yet. But the great news today is that Ukrainian troops appear to be making real gains against the demoralized Russian invaders.
Reference: Christopher Miller, @ChristopherJM, Financial Times correspondent
Just thinking how incredible Putin’s about-face is. This morning he vowed to severely punish the perpetrators of what he likened to a repeat of the 1917 revolution… Tonight, Putin’s silent, Progozhin is let off the hook, charges dropped against him, amnesty to his fighters.

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