Infopost | 2023.06.30

NonCredibleDefense New York Times Prigozhin Surovikin

The Drive had a couple of good articles about the aftermath of the Wagnerkrieg. One was an interview with Ukraine intelligence's Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov that had some gems. For example:

Maj Gen Budanov Because had Prigozhin entered an empty Kremlin that day, he would have shown to the public that the Kremlin is empty. There are no ministers. There are no real high-ranking officials there. They all have escaped, and he would demonstrate that there's no authority in power currently in Russia.

The plot

The Drive Prigozhin originally planned to capture two top Russian generals as part of his mutiny attempt, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. But that was apparently foiled when the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) found out so Prigozhin decided to move up his timeline, the Journal reported, citing "Western intelligence officials."

Last week there was speculation that Prigozhin was executing his checkmate against Putin. And there was speculation that Putin had succumbed to his illness and Prigozhin was making a move. The coup thing seemed strange, if Prigozhin was planning to capture two generals you'd think he would have done that before announcing it on Telegram.

Based on this reporting there was a longstanding plan to mutiny. I'm still confused about the endgame; he seizes the MoD, then what? Putin appoints Pringles to the MoD because of Dothraki rules of succession?

The Drive Prigozhin was apparently planning on the help of Russian armed forces, who would turn on their leadership, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It's no suprise that Prigozhin had supporters in the MoD, he's a wealthy, influential personality that was fully committed to the war effort. Conversely, the failures of Russia's military must have created dissent in the ranks. But for Prigozhin to turn swaths of the military apparatus on Shoigu seems less like a mutiny and more like a coup, because why stop at the MoD?

Maj Gen Budanov If the question is did we know about [Prigozhin's] plans to conduct such actions? Yes, I can confirm that we knew that there was an intent to do something similar. And we knew about it for quite a while.

Despite assertions that the mutiny was a long time coming, it may have just been one of many contingencies that Prigozhin had in his back pocket. One that he needed when the entirely-foreseeable arrest warrant came down. At best, he'd accomplish whatever happens after he has Sergei Shoigu wrapped up, at best, he'd have enough leverage to walk out of Russia alive.
The MoD purge

Vladimir Putin double Dagestan comparison
Meanwhile Vladimir Putin (or a stand-in) wins back the hearts of his countrymen.

Since it appears Prigozhin had a plan and some allies, the Russian MoD is cleaning house:

The Drive Support for Prigozhin "has become a litmus test against which the [Russian] Armed Forces are scourged," Rybar wrote. "Surovikin has not been seen since Saturday - it is not known for certain where General Armageddon is located, there is a version that he is under interrogation."
Belarus, Wagner, and Africa

Lukashenko interview Putin colonel
Colonel Negotiator.

The Wagnerkrieg ended with Lukashenko brokering a deal where Prigozhin and Wagner could set up shop in Belarus in exchange for an end to hostilities. Wagner mercenaries could join the Russian MoD or relocate to Belarus and the PMC would exit the Ukraine war. Aside from hurt feelings, that seems like it could be a clean break except for all of the Wagner operations in Africa.

The Drive [Summarizing Russian press conference:] The state had nothing to do with the business of Wagner PMC in Africa; (this is laughable considering Putin himself said the Russian government wholly financed and armed Wagner just a couple days before)

Maj Gen Budanov Yes, their operations overseas are continuing mostly in Africa. And what is going to happen next is that the majority of personnel which was previously engaged in fighting in Ukraine will be step-by-step moved to Africa to build up operations there.

So I guess Russia's going to continue paying Belarusian PMC Wagner to advance their interests in Africa? Or maybe Putin has other ideas in mind.

Maj Gen Budanov We are aware that the FSB was charged with a task to assassinate him. Will they be successful in doing that?

The Drive The new bottom line though is that if Moscow has its way, Wagner's operations will be under new management, according to the Journal.

Maybe Lukashenko's reward is Wagner, he'll get to be a colonel after all. He just needs to let Prigozhin reconstitute Wagner so it doesn't disintegrate with the change of management.

Russia APC tractor gun mounts Reddit NonCredibleDefense

Maj Gen Budanov New batches of drones from Iran are coming constantly to the Russian Federation.

Russia's procument and logistics issues has been a major theme of this three-day military operation. The Iranian Shahed suicide drone has been a constant thorn in the side of the defenders; it's cheap to produce and expensive to intercept.

OpenOb OpenOb > The Russian army now uses Iranian-made artillery ammunition - photos that have emerged show brand-new Iranian OF-462 122mm HE projectiles in the possession of Russian artillerymen.

> Yesterday photos also appeared showing "Chinese ammunition" in the possession of Russian troops.
> Though the projectiles are indeed Chinese and were manufactured prior to 1986 - China has likely nothing to do with it.
> We assume that these rounds, exported to Iran roughly 40 years ago, since then have been refurbished there due to their age, receiving new propellant charges and remarked crates- the new markings are quite similar to standard Iranian ones.

Today there was talk that Iran made a deal with the US that they would not supply Russia with ballistic missiles. Looks like ammunition is a far game though.

Could be a huge win for the State Department, if true.
The war

Maj Gen Budanov Russia on the technical side has set everything ready for orchestration of a technological disaster on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. They've prepared everything necessary to create an artificial technological, man-made disaster.

[Ed: more specifics follow]

NATO's February 2022 playbook was to broadcast to the world Russia's intentions - invasion, false flag attacks, annexations, etc. While it didn't prevent the invasion, it probably reduced the uncertainty that Russia preyed upon with Crimea and Georgia. The technique seems to have caught on.

The Drive TWZ: Are you cooperating at all with [Russian partisans]?

KB: Being a special service, it's understood that we are familiar with multiple organizations across the world.

I need to pause to appreciate this amazing response by Budanov. This is a question he should at no point ever, ever answer in his position. And he accomplishes that, but with understated flair. "Multiple organizations across the world", the amount of layered vagueness is just superb. And the passive voice, "it's understood that" is both non-committal and rightfully reproachful.

And to be explicitly clear, if he said something that even approaches, "yeah we funded the Russian partisans and high fived them when they crashed a drone in Moscow" there'd be more than a few problems. First, it'd antagonize Russia in an escalatory way. Second, it would reveal information about their ongoing covert actions. And third, it'd open him to potential legal liabilities. So of course he's not going to answer that question, The Drive, I thought you guys were better than this. And yet they continued to ask unanswerable questions:

The Drive TWZ: Are you helping them in any way?


TWZ: So there's no cooperation?

KB: Our cooperation, if there is some, it doesn't step beyond their assistance to us in defense of Ukraine on the territory of Ukraine. Everything they do outside Ukraine in the Russian Federation is none of our business.

They finally let it go, but of course asked him to answer for others about the state of the counteroffensive and F-16 training.


Anyways good post. Do another

Did luka actually whine about not being a colonel yet? Lol

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