Putin’s success. Gianandrea Gaianni’s analysis of Prigozhin’s ‘show’: ‘The leadership is strengthened and the US is confused, but something stinks’

Putin’s success.  Gianandrea Gaianni’s analysis of Prigozhin’s ‘show’: ‘The leadership is strengthened and the US is confused, but something stinks’

“An offer that has diminished too quickly to be serious, which raises a lot of doubts and some suspicions.” Wagner’s career under Yevgeny Prigozhin in Moscow ended quickly and without much bloodshed. But above all, says the magazine’s editor Defense analysis Gianandrea Gaiani, “with an agreement that seems to please everyone, but above all Putin.”

Gaiani, she was right: in the interview on Saturday with ilfattoquotidiano.it she said “what is going on looks like a civil war, it is negotiations instead”.
Meanwhile, the coup does not begin 800 kilometers from Moscow, from Rostov. Then came serendipity with the expiration of a new law in Moscow, which imposes a contract on private companies like Wagner that effectively puts them under the control of the Ministry of Defense. Coincidentally, the rebellion was not read as an attempt to overthrow President Vladimir Putin. Finally, the lack of a military uprising was surprising: no resistance from the army, police, national guard, or internal security forces (FSB), except for a Ka-52 helicopter attack that was shot down by contractors and the destruction of some helicopters at Rostov airport in contexts yet to be clarified. “.

A boxing match with no knockouts, for that. Let’s count the points.
Prigozhin brought an “exile” to Belarus, for himself and his followers who followed him into the rebellion, where Wagner could be very useful to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has known Prigozhin for 20 years and struggles with Poles, Balts and Ukrainians training his opponents in exile to destabilize the country. A solution to the Wagner leader, exempt from the obligation to sign the contract with the hated Minister of Defense, but it is also part of the success of Putin who, some say, moved Wagner from the 200 kilometers that separated it from the capital to only 100 kilometers from Kiev. After that, of course, Prigozhin may not face the price of his betrayal in Belarus.

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And Putin?
First of all, he had widespread popular and military support, while there was no military uprising in support of Prigozhin. On the contrary, the Russian pronouncements were everywhere that “we have only one commander-in-chief”, Putin. Which avoided Russian bloodshed and offered the rebels a way out. The end that shows him on the one hand magnanimity and on the other hand allows the militias who did not take part in the initiative to register and fight for the Kremlin under the guidance of the regular army, which is exactly what the Wagner leader ruled out. Not only that, the fact that Lukashenko found the deal ideal for Putin, who left in their place Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff General Valerig Gerasimov, whom Prigozhin wanted to remove. But at the same time, the uprising offers more than an excuse for the president who, unlike the previous one, will be able to take stock of the change, perhaps as the pot continues. In the case of Shoigu, for example, a more political and less sophisticated personality might be useful to him. Putin’s success is not indifferent.

A solution that satisfies everyone.
And maybe something stinks in this. The supposition that it was all a stage does not seem absurd to me: Wagner took Rostov, without interrupting orders, to the front. The march is without obstacles, while Moscow is closed. Chechens who had gone to lend a hand to recapture Rostov only arrived by chance when Wagner succumbed to the applause of the people. Many elements lead us to doubt staging. This among other things, and this is also a point for Putin, has confused observers in the West. So much so that, as The Wall Street Journal reported today, the US State Department has delayed adopting new sanctions against PMC Wagner for its activities in Africa so as not to indirectly help Putin. In short, the United States seems preoccupied with wondering whether Wagner is good or bad. The information drift has partly turned into propaganda that sounds more like a football cheer and that risks preventing us Westerners from truly understanding what is happening in Russia and on the Ukrainian front, even in the future.

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What will happen to Wagner now?
It’s hard to say, maybe he will change his name. Those who sign with the Ministry of Defense are under the direct control of the Russian military, while the exiles with Prigozhin in Belarus are a consolidation of Moscow’s position on the side of the ally after the deployment of atomic warheads. But the important thing is to understand how Moscow will decide to manage all the foreign affairs that currently fall into Wagner’s hands. Will Prigozhin continue to administer it or not? Wagner’s activities, especially in Africa, are strategic. It is not inconceivable that Moscow would now decide to replace Wagner with another private company, among the many existing and which had been born in the meantime, perhaps led by figures not of Wagner’s excessive independence, not in the hands of an eccentric and selfish, and therefore more controllable. As for Prigozhin, what really happened we may never know. Did he sell himself to the Americans? Let’s go where? In the case of numbering hours.

Now attention should also return to the Ukrainian front: What is the military situation?
The news on the Ukrainian front is limited and this means that the counterattack is going badly. They fight on the outpost line. They attack Bakhmut, but to the north, the Russians launch their attack and Kiev attacks exactly where Moscow expected it. The United States itself said it was disappointed by the developments, by the Russian resistance. In my opinion, the recent statements made by NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg should not be underestimated. If earlier he argued that Russia should fight until Russia is defeated, now he argues that Ukraine must regain the ground to negotiate from a point of greater strength. Maybe because what we can give to the Ukrainians, we have already given them? Does this mean that once the counter-offensive is over, it will be the NATO partners who will demand negotiations? It sure is a change of perspective. If it is prolonged, then yesterday’s tension may affect the endurance of Russian soldiers at the front. But it seems to me that the question has already been passed and Putin turned out well.

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