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Maybe Prigozhin Was Telling the Truth About the Russian MoD?
How long have they been feuding, really?
An interesting account of the battle of Kasham in Syria has come to light recently. The American soldiers who took part in the clash with Assad’s troops and Wagner shared their side of the story and added some hitherto unheard details to their account. This particular line in the story, which you should read in its entirety because it is interesting, really stands out.
The Wagner mercenaries had a surface-to-air system that made it impossible for American aircraft to press the attack. Only after officials in Washington talked to their Russian counterparts did the surface-to-air system get shut down, allowing American aircraft to return and attack.
Do you understand what was just said?
It seems that the Americans were pinned and had to get on the phone with the MoD and tell them to turn off their S-300? so that they could then bomb them from the air and hold on to their positions.
Incredible stuff. And the Americans just drop it casually in their account and move on as it if weren’t interesting, or remarkable in any way. Maybe the Americans are just used to fighting this way and expect the enemy to turn their AD off when asked to do so. This would certainly explain their confidence, you have to admit.
But, this is just one data point. Do we have others? Can we triangulate on any facts?
Well, if you will recall, Prigozhin has also lashed out at the Russian MoD’s role in Syria a couple of months back. I wrote about it, but it was just one small point in a whole litany of complaints that Prigozhin leveled at the MoD at the time so you may have missed it:
Wagner was the main force that saved Assad in Syria and was undermined by the MoD every step of the way
Before that, Prigozhin came out and broke the silence when he said that, yes, such a confrontation with US forces in Syria and Wagner did indeed occur and that Wagner lost a lot of men. This was just a rumor before he came out and confirmed this. Hell, the Kremlin denied the existence of Wagner back then, then acknowledged their existence and simply denied any association with them, and then simply denied that such a clash had occurred.
Well, Prigozhin put an end to that.
So the sequence of events goes something like this: Prigozhin confirms clash with US in Syria, confirms death of Wagner soldiers, says the MoD sabotaged them in Syria, Americans publish account bragging about how they got the MoD to strip Wagner of air defense so that American planes and helicopters could kill 100-300 of them, and now we are waiting for Prigozhin to either confirm or deny.
If the story surrounding the MoD letting Wagner get killed off by American airstrikes is true, well, it seems to indicate that this conflict between the MoD and Wagner that we see now has been going on for awhile. This would only further confirm claims that they are deliberately trying to kill off Wagner in Bakhmut. It also seems that Prigozhin is actually holding back quite a bit of dirt that he could, in theory, start dishing out.
As for Bakhmut, Russia first suffered setbacks, but then held off the recent UAF encircling attempts. SouthFront, which is a solid source that I trust generally, confirms this.
Russian forces repelled a series of massive attacks from the Kyiv regime on the flanks of the town of Bakhmut. Despite significant mobilization of both manpower and equipment for this operation, Kyiv achieved no real breakthroughs on the frontline.
Fierce clashes took place south of the village of Krasnoe where the Russians stopped a battalion sized tactical group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kiyv lost 3 battle tanks, 4 infantry fighting vehicles and 2 armored vehicles. This with about 200 personnel killed or wounded.
The commander of the 4th Motorized Rifle brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, Colonel Vyacheslav Makarov, being at the forefront around Krasnoe, personally led the battle. He was seriously wounded and died during his evacuation from the battlefield.
On another flank of Bakhmut, Colonel Yevgeny Brovko, deputy commander of an army corps, led the actions of troops repelling the Ukrainian attack. He also died heroically after he had received multiple shrapnel wounds.
East of Bogdanovka, the 3rd battalion of the 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade repelled six attacks from the Kyiv regime. The attacks involved assault groups numbering more than 100 personnel with seven tanks, 14 infantry fighting vehicles as well as other military equipment. Seven tanks, 11 infantry fighting vehicles and more than 50 Ukrainian servicemen lost their lives on the battlefield in this engagement.
Over 30 Ukrainian servicemen, two tanks and three infantry fighting vehicles were destroyed in the zone of responsibility of the 6th division.
As of the first half of May 15, it appears that the counter-offensive actions of the Kiyv regime around Bakhmut on May 13 and 14 resulted in total failure. Meanwhile, units belonging to the PMC Wagner continue their advance inside the town. The main fighting is ongoing around the areas known as “Konstructor” and “Gnezdo”. From recent developments, it looks that one of the current tasks of the advance is to fully cut off the road to Khromovo.
Prigozhin confirms that they have almost completely taken the entirety of the town proper. And he has nothing but more contempt and criticism to pour on Gerasimov, who he blames for the impossibility of being able to surround the UAF going forward and for the retreats around the town in the surrounding areas.
I have never said this before, but I almost feel confident enough to say that the actual urban part of Bakhmut may indeed be taken in the coming two weeks. That being said, there is also a good chance that the UAF will have success on the flanks and end up surrounding the town as well.
And no, this is not a solid, “take it to the bank” prediction on my part, so no, I won’t let my readers hold me to it. I simply don’t feel strongly enough about Bakhmut to make such a call and the drama surrounding it seems like the far more consequential conflict. Taking or losing Bakhmut changes little militarily, but it will decide the fate and prospects of Wagner going forward.
Back on the home front, Deputy Sobolev has come out hard against Wagner, demanding 15-year prison sentences for Russian soldiers who “defect” to join Wagner. Obviously he was put up to this by the anti-Wagner faction at home.
This elicited a fiery response from Wagner. In one video, 3 fighters call him a pidor and threaten to march on Moscow to, “fuck him in the ass” to teach him a lesson.
This was not just a one-off video, but a legit threat republished by Wagner. Quite the escalation, wouldn’t you say? Threatening senators on video like this is rather unprecedented. Naturally, the Russian state media is mum on the subject and I doubt many people in Russia know about any of this drama. If Wagner makes good on its threats in one way or the other, then we well and truly will have entered a new phase of political life in Russia and well and truly have entered into a state of naked warlordism.
I don’t feel strongly one way or the other about such a possibility. It is what it is at this point.
Others are also picking sides too. Zyuganov, the leader of the Communists has distanced himself from his fellow Communist party member Sobolev’s anti-Wagner action, and Prigozhin thanked him for his support. There is now talk of launching an ethics investigation into Sobolev in the Duma. So, as you can see, the fighting rages on within the Russia political elite as well. Although, it is hard to refer to the Communist Party of Russia as “elite” seeing as they are technically the opposition. But don’t get me wrong, they are all quite rich and well-connected, running the same types of scams and looting operations as the UR elite just not making as much and not getting access to the juiciest of the spoils.
Prigozhin continues to be accused by officials in or around the Kremlin of preparing a populist coup in Moscow. He denies his ambitions, naturally and makes sure to specify that he is not targeting Putin with his criticisms. When he refers to “the old grandfather in Moscow”, he says that this is not a reference to Putin. I think he is telling the truth - Prigozhin never critiques Putin because that would be a very bad idea. Not only does he rely on Putin at least not hating him, but Putin is also a popular figure. Attacking him would be a mistake, which is why he doesn’t do it. And neither do I!
Well, sometimes I do. Lol. But I shouldn’t. It simply isn’t productive. Stop egging me on.
Anyways, Prigozhin went a step forward the other day and stated that Russia is run by a feudal clan. That the country is run by feudal lords, under feudal principles, by those who hate the Russian people, who literally laugh at the deaths of ordinary Russians and seem to enjoy it, all while they enrich themselves.
Here, both Prigozhin and the feudal lords are correct: they do indeed hate Russia and Russians and Prigozhin does indeed have political ambitions. And the people who stand behind him certainly do as well. I go into this here:
Oh, and I figure I ought to mention it here even though it isn’t Wagner related, but a Chechen terrorist who was fighting for Kiev and killing Russians was given a hero’s welcome home back in Grozny, Chechnia.
He says that he has since seen the light and returned to serve with Kadyrov.
Khusain Dzhambetov, an Ichkerian and colleague of Akhmed Zakayev, has returned to Russia.
Dzhambetov is known for fighting for the Armed Forces of Ukraine until today and killing Russians as part of the Ichkerian battalion.
But now, by some miracle, he ended up in Russia in Grozny, where he was greeted with all honors.
Dzhambetov said that he was disappointed in Ukraine and the Ichkerian ideology and now he will be loyal only to Kadyrov.
Dzhambetov told how, while fighting for Ukraine, he shot Ukrainian colleagues who rejoiced at the death of Akhmat fighters. He explained his action with solidarity for the Chechen brothers.
It is clear that this story is 100% pure fiction, in order to smooth the corners and explain to the cattle why he is good and deserves to come home.
Once again, I am baffled by normie-Russian’s reactions to this news. Well, I am not baffled, really. I get why they are so disgusted and upset. It’s just this is actually good news, really. The monarchs of Great Britain used to bribe pirates to stop harassing their navy and gave them royal commissions, didn’t they? This is a rare “diplomatic” victory, really, for the RF. A rare one. Better he not be fighting and killing Russians, no? And there are a lot of “Russians” on the side of Ukraine killing Russians in this war and something has to be done about this.
To be fair, there is a very good chance that Dzhambetov will turn on Russia again in the near future should Russia lose the war or accept a Versailles-type peace. Maybe he was accepted back home so that Kadyrov could continue preparing his army for the day when they decide to launch their war for independence again.
Point being: all the pieces are in place for a descent into regionalism and warlordism in Russia, again.