Russian Rebellion Ends Shockingly

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The Wagner mutiny has come to a relatively peaceful end with a last minute deal struck between the Russian Government and rogue commander of the Wagner Mercenary Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

In the morning of June 25th, Prigozhin claimed that the Russian Ministry of Defense under Sergei Shoygu had attacked Wagner positions. After months of complaining that his men had been needlessly slaughtered, Prigozhin declared a rebellion against the Russian generals.

Wagner troops seized Rostov, where they were well received by the citizenry. From there, columns made their way towards Moscow, passing through Voronezh. During this “march for justice” as Prigozhin described it, many regular Russian troops stood aside of him, with some even joining him.

Chaos reached Moscow, as senior officials fled the city, while the Rosgvardia (National Guard) and SWAT teams were deployed on the outskirts to stop the rebels. As an emergency measure, loyalist helicopters attempted to track the convoy but were downed by Wagner motorized columns using surface to air missiles. Many of these weapons were NATO models captured from Ukrainians. In response, Chechen loyalists were sent to take back Rostov.

There is no consensus as to whether Wagner troops could have stormed Moscow. Before serious fighting could occur, the Belarusian President struck an agreement between Putin and Prigozhin, allowing the latter to live in exile in his country. Most Wagner troops will have to sign enlistment contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

This showdown has greatly hurt Vladimir Putin’s image, usually portrayed as a ruthless operative capable of dealing with all domestic threats. This deal could further embolden other Russian leaders to form their own private armies, and might be tempted to test Putin. On the other hand, Putin managed to maintain the loyalty of most of the state during the crisis. It remains to be seen if he will strike back at Prigozhin once he reconsolidated his power.


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