Infopost | 2023.06.26

Wagner mutiny Russia Rostov street tanks
Source. Rostov parking tickets are printed on ERA.

Yevgeny's rebellion was one of the best 24-hour stories all year. It's gotten plenty of coverage in the media, so here's why I'm providing the kilroy take:
  1. It wasn't covered very well. The media was still talking about the Titan sub when the story broke, then it was the middle of the night on Friday, then they started having facts they could confirm, then it was over.
  2. The events were predominantly relayed by Telegram and then Twitter. Since I mentioned OSINT a couple months ago, this was a good follow up.
  3. I've been tracking the Ukraine saga on and off, this was a plot twist worth following.
  4. I spent most of that night in a hospital waiting room, so what else was I going to do?
Sparks

The whole thing kicked off the morning of June 23rd (West Coast time) when Prigozhin released more fiery criticisms of the Russian MoD. Another day, another Telegram rant, right?

wartranslated Some Russian channels are spreading info about the alleged intention of the Russian MoD to detain Wagner's Prigozhin.

Channel Goryachie Tochki posts a screenshot of the "conversation" between two soldiers from Rostov. By their words, the command is preparing for a force move to arrest Wagnerites for their refusal to sign contracts with the MoD - a requirement that needs to be fulfilled before 1 July to "legalise" the PMC. The channel suggests those who resist the arrest will be shot.

In this regard, Prigozhin's emotional interview from today could be a way for him to deal the most damage.

However, aside from this information from several channels, there's currently no indication that any raid against Wagner is actually going to take place.

The FSB responded quickly.

OSINTtechnical Russian state media reporting that the FSB has opened a case "on the fact of calling for an armed rebellion"
Is this real?

Wagner mutiny Russia highway closures

By Friday afternoon (West Coast) there wasn't any clear indication that this was more serious than the standard PR salvos. OSINT twitterers relayed rumors of Wagner forces on the move, but there were only a few shaky videos of Russian-origin vehicles. Like with FlightRadar in February 2022, public transportation was seen as an objective but uncertain bellcow.

Wagner mutiny Russia military police guarding Moscow

Well, either the Friday night party scene was getting out of hand or someone at the Kremlin took the situation seriously.
Initial speculation

Credible reactions

The Atlantic A Russian Defense Ministry edict was about to go into force requiring all mercenaries to sign up with the Russian military, which would place them under Shoigu's control.

The lack of definitive information meant everyone had time to speculate and no speculation was too speculative. Was Prigozhin trying to unseat Shoigu? Was it a full coup against Putin?

john_andrew_smith101 john_andrew_smith101 Next week Wagner soldiers in Ukraine would've been forced to sign contracts with the MOD. When they told Caesar to give up his legions, he marched on Rome.

Non-credible reactions

MyDogHasToes
/u/MyDogHasToes
Rumor of prigozhin learning of Putin being unhealthy in their meeting a few days ago, and that's why he's choosing now to act
Onyxtale
/u/Onyxtale
Putin has already died, and that was the spark that started the civil war.
Source: it came to me in a dream
MiG21bisFishbedL
/u/MiG21bisFishbedL
DreamINT is the best kind of Int

Now here's speculation with some chest hair.

Propaganda reactions

Since I enjoy a good cope session, here's the Foundations of Geopolitics guy:

wartranslated Aleksandr Dugin is still finding satanists in today's events:

"Just as we face the true enemy, the satanic West and its demon-possessed henchmen, he sows confusion within ourselves, and so goes from century to century. When will we wise up?.."

Anyway, I'm done for tonight. Good night!

And since I was in a waiting room and had hours to kill, I stopped by the ZeroHedge comments for a laugh.

Wagner mutiny Russia ZeroHedge comments Wagner mutiny Russia ZeroHedge comments Wagner mutiny Russia ZeroHedge comments Wagner mutiny Russia ZeroHedge comments

Left to right: "nothing is real", "you guys love Russian propaganda", "Prigozhin's video is a deepfake", "ZH's sole contributor is a glowy".
Not dead yet

Wagner mutiny Russia Putin address

As the hours dragged on, doomscrollers wondered why Putin hadn't made a public statement. The two non-sensational points that stuck:
Putin broke the silence with a televised address Saturday morning (local). An abridged quote:

wartranslated As a President of Russia and the Supreme Commander, as a citizen of Russia, I will do everything to defend the country, protect the Constitution, lives and safety, liberty of the citizens.

Those who prepared the military mutiny, who raise weapons against combat brothers, have betrayed Russia, and will pay for this. And those who are being pulled into the crime, I'm asking to not make this crucial, tragic, unrepeatable mistake. Do the one right choice - stop participating in criminal actions.

If there was any belief that Shoigu had been acting against Prigozhin without approval from the big dog, this nixed it. Perhaps if there was any hesitancy on the Wagner side, Putin's condemnation of their rebellion locked them in.

water_bottle_goggles water_bottle_goggles Et tu pringles?

A few hours later, Wagner HQ was raided. FSB or whoever announced that they had found a truck full of cash, the kind of thing a criminal might have. Pringles's response was amazing:

wartranslated Audio message from Prigozhin, 13:23PM BST - on reports of cash found in Wagner office:

"The information spread by some media: "during searches in Prigozhin's offices, a Gazel truck with cash was found". I don't have one Gazel. I have a Gazel and two mini-buses with cash intended for paying salaries, compensations for gruz-200 [deaths] and other issues.

PMC Wagner exists for 10 years using exclusively cash, which is said in the contract. And I'm respecting this carefully. When we were occupied in Africa, in Ukraine, and other countries, cash satisfied everyone. But now, they came with searches. That's fine. Cash was truly found there."
Maneuvers

Wagner mutiny Russia military police guarding highway

Part of the Wagner force steamed toward Moscow, possibly engaging in scattered gunfights with Rosgardia. More notably, Wagner AA downed a few MoD aircraft during their advance. The rest of the Wagner force was down in Rostov...

Wagner mutiny Russia Rostov coffee break Wagner mutiny Russia Rostov coffee break

... getting coffee and setting up outside the MoD building there.

Wagner mutiny Russia Rostov street cleaner

The Rostov standoff had more than a few spectators and videographers. The street sweepers didn't seem to care. Wagner eventually seized the building and Prigozhin showed up to have a conversation with a Deputy Defense Minister.

Wagner mutiny Russia Prigozhin meet Rostov
And just like that, it's over

A few hours after the Rostov siege, Prigozhin announced on Telegram that his 'march of justice' was done. Belarusian President Lukashenko had stepped in to broker a drawdown, read: Putin can't appear to negotiate with anyone.

wartranslated The case opened against Prigozhin about organising a coup was cancelled. Things are done quickly in this country!

By all accounts, the rebellion had been mostly bloodless but was at a precipice, with Wagner occupying Rostov and nearing Moscow.

OSINTtechnical I'll leave at this before I finally get some sleep, Prigozhin probably cashed out at his strongest point. I'm not exactly sure what Wagner would have done once they reached Moscow, but the chances of actually capturing any significant Russian leadership was basically zero.
Disbelief

2skwb9 2skwb9 > written and directed by david benioff and d.b. weiss

It was certainly an anticlimax.

Tsukune_Surprise Tsukune_Surprise We were inches from going back to our original timeline.

What was wrought by the death of Harambe and Kobe was almost made right.

And just when things were about to go back to normal - it's snatched away.
4D chess

Since Putin is a ten foot tall chessmaster, this was all a charade, right?

_gaillarde
/u/_gaillarde
How credible was my initial thought that the "mutiny" was a false flag orchestrated by Putin to pull Russia out of Ukraine? He can't win, his "allies" barely support him, and he's in too deep to publicly cut his losses and retreat.
So, Putin makes a deal with Prigozhin, who everyone conveniently thinks is an enemy of his already, Wagner "invades" Russia, and Putin now has an excuse to retreat from Ukraine to deal with the new threat. After he "wins", Putin can just declare he de-Nazified Wagner and stopped the West's evil scheme to destabilize Russia.
john_andrew_smith101
/u/john_andrew_smith101
It became obvious to me that it wasn't a false flag when I realized that Wagner troops in Ukraine only had a week left to sign contracts with the MoD.

It reminds me of this scene from Rome. Prigozhin's main protection was that his soldiers followed his orders, and the MoD, with Putin's support, was going to take that away. So he did what any rational man fighting for his survival did; he declared Shoigu do be a traitor and rolled the dice.

I have also read that this was a clever way to redeploy Wagner to Belarus and make another attempt at Kyiv.
The final word

South Park smore schnapps
It was kind of like this.

Abridged:

wartranslated Summary of Prigozhin's 26 June address to clarify the situation: it was to demonstrate protest against the "destruction of PMC Wagner, not toppling the Russian authorities":

- PMC Wagner carries out tasks around the world. It was meant to stop existing on 1 July 2023. "Employees" all refused to sign the contract with MoD, only 1-2% decided to join the Russian army.

- The original plan was to go to Rostov on 30 July and transfer all vehicles to MoD, which were ready for transport.

- Despite any aggression, Wagner suffered a missile attack, followed by helicopter attack. Around 30 PMC Wagner fighters died. This triggered an immediate decision to move out early and respond militarily.

- The objective was to not allow destruction of Wagner and take to responsiblity those who with their unprofessional actions made a huge number of mistakes during the SMO. All the military met along the way supported this.

- Wagner stopped when the advanced storm unit deployed artillery, conducted reconnaissance and realised a lot of blood will be shed in an upcoming battle. They decided that demonstration of the protest was enough, and turned around.

As far as I know, the details of the Putin/Prigozhin arrangement aren't public but it's widely acknowledged that Prigozhin would head to Belarus for the moment. With Putin's notorious ruthlessness toward his opponents, some have speculated that he made credible threats against the families of Wagner's leadership.

I'm not sure Prigozhin had much of a choice in any of this. After his inflammatory broadcasts from Bakhmut earlier this year, the MoD was coming after Wagner (as /u/john_andew_smith101 points out) and Pringles himself. It wouldn't be surprising if Prigozhin was wise to an arrest warrant that had been issued before his Friday declaration. In that case, he'd have to look no farther than Alexei Navalny to know what his future held. So his only negotiating chip was 25,000 mercenaries and a bunch of tanks, IFVs, and antiaircraft systems.

Drunken_Economist
/u/Drunken_Economist
Can we have another coup? I'm bored
technologyisnatural
/u/technologyisnatural
Maybe Prigozhin is a coup machine? Feed him the right cocktail of meth and krokodil and, bam, 72 hour coup train, all aboard! He's in a windowless hotel in Minsk right now. A fist full of rubles and Wagner could once again be riding the Valkyries.
Moment of zen

_Fibbles_
/u/_Fibbles_
> How credible would it be to have an autonomous drone slaved to a tank that flies ahead and uses a machine learning algorithm to identify visual mines?

That depends. Do you have a dataset of 100,000 overhead photos of mines taken on low-quality drone cameras with which to train the AI?
GundamMotionDance
/u/GundamMotionDance
If we start to get recaptchas of AT mines we'll know it's happening.



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Further reading

I read a bunch of interesting stuff about Ukraine, Russiagate, and global security.

Related - external

Risky click advisory: these links are produced algorithmically from a crawl of the subsurface web (and some select mainstream web). I haven't personally looked at them or checked them for quality, decency, or sanity. None of these links are promoted, sponsored, or affiliated with this site. For more information, see this post.

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The New Yorker of August 7 includes a superb article by Joshua Yaffa on the Wagner military group in Russia, it's leader Viktor Prigozhin, ...
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Why Putin Let Prigozhin Go - The Atlantic

The real "higher goal" of the deal was not what a Kremlin spokesperson suggested.

Created 2024.04 from an index of 185,804 pages.