Russians Support Wagner, Actually
Let's dispel the rumor that anybody likes Shoigu.
The headline says it all. I spent the last 2+ days in Russian chats, interacting with Russians, writing to people in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Siberia. The vast majority of everyone, even if they themselves don’t support Wagner, or are wisely afraid to do so, publicly, acknowledge that Wagner’s popularity improved after the Moscow SMO.
Anyone who claims the opposite is lying to you and cannot prove his views unlike myself, who shouldn’t even have to at this point because of how stellar my reputation is, but will do so anyways. They also don’t understand basic heuristics related to the group psyche of the people and how populism taps into it.
Here is why Wagner “won” in the battle for perception and popularity in Russia:
Shoigu is a Tuvan gangster who hates Russians and participated in ethnic cleansing of Russians (or at least did not intervene) in the 90s in Tuva.
Russians are sick of racial aliens lording over them and their government being run by people who look like they ought to be running a fruit stall at the bazaar
Prigozhin’s critiques of the Kremlin found fertile ground, they have been around for decades and the distaste for the government has only been growing
Wagner is rightly seen as the only effective fighting force in Russia; they are bathed in a halo of cool and victory and Russianness because of their actions in Syria and Donbass
People like audaciousness and boldness and shows of strength, which the Wagner mutiny had in spades
The Kremlin looked weak and retarded, which people instinctively hate
Russians are in disbelief and shock that their government could have let the situation spiral into a war with fraternal, blood-related Ukraine in the first place
Russians are in disbelief and shock that their government is unable to win against Ukraine
Russians are in disbelief and shock that their government appears to be losing the war slowly but surely
The people who are telling you otherwise, that Wagner has lost its popularity or is hated by the Russian population, are lying to you through their teeth.
Also, they are mis-portraying the cease-fire as a masterful Putin 5D/5-head play.
But it was Lukashenko who averted a crisis, not Putin, who actually escalated the situation needlessly by calling for the death of Wagner/labelling them terrorists just like the Kremlin’s overlords in Langley do, as a matter of fact, for those paying attention, only to reverse his position not 12 hours later, shit his pants, and drop all charges.
Much win. Very diplomacy. Wow.
With some of the false prophets, the incentive is quite obvious: they are being paid to do so. With others, they have a religious motivation: if Russia loses, Christianity is wrong, essentially. Others still are suffering from sunk cost fallacy and are loath to admit that they have been wrong for more than a year now. Those are the three main categories of 5D Z-Anon Judo Chess cope theorists, as far as I can tell.
Now, another reason why these people are so wrong is because so few of them speak Russian, have lived in Russia, or know anything at all about Russian politics or Russian history besides the absolute basic, boilerplate stuff. They also get basic facts wrong.
Like, for example, they are claiming that Wagner has been disbanded now. Where did they read this?
Or, they are saying that Prigozhin had a psychotic episode. Where is the doctor’s note?
And, apparently, Prigozhin has been arrested. Where can I mail prison letters to him then?
Maybe even that Shoigu has lost his position and has been replaced by Putin’s bodyguard. Would that it were so.
So, on just a basic level, they are spreading disinfo in the name of their Higher Truth, whatever it might be. This will bite them in the butt in the future when people no longer take what they have to say seriously anymore. To be more specific, smart people won’t give them the time of day. The rubes will never learn, ever, so either the same people or new false prophets can continue leading them astray in good time, don’t you worry.
Look: there is a huge deficit of people writing about Russia who can read and listen to original sources. Go down the list yourself: Hinckle, the Duran guys, Peter Lavelle, Macgregor, Ritter, Lira, Larry Johnson, Eva Bartlett, Paul Craig Roberts, Mike Whitney, John Helmer, Escobar, Patrick Lancaster, Brian Berlectic, Andrew Korybko, Mark Sleboda, iEarlGrey, Simplicius, Moon of Alabama, most of the foreign employees at RT and Sputnik, the other regulars on Napolitano: Col. Daniel Davis, Col. Tony Shaffer, Alastair Crooke, Jack Devine, Phil Giraldi; and others that I am forgetting now.
There are only six who do or claim to: Big Serge, Russians with Attitude, Martyanov, Ray McGovern, Tim Kirby, and Aussie Cossack, but they make for a tiny percentage of the total traffic and views, and Kirby and McGovern each have reasons for why they aren't going to take a critical approach to the narratives being promoted now, and all the rest are Russians (sort of).
A few words about the Russian Six.
Fat Serge: I have written about before in passing, but nothing in depth because he is the most boring out of all of them because he used to simply cut and pastes Saker’s opinions and only got big because of Saker’s patronage in the early days. Was he a blog commentator that wanted to get in on the grift? Idk the details. Is he even Russian actually?
Russians With Diabetes: the long and short of it is that you should be very careful with them. They have a horrendous reputation within the Russian nationalist scene that they came out of. I am a personal enemy of both of them, and they quit because I made fun of them.
Basically, I called Pigdog “hotdog” and Kaminets “Koming-out-ets”.
Lol. And I would do it all over again.
It's all in here, near the end:
Muttyanov: a mixed-race sovok with submarine? experience and technical military expertise. For years he claimed that Shoigu had revolutionized Russia’s arsenal with wunder-weapons. Well, what do you guys think? What do your lying eyes tell you? I see old Soviet tanks jerry-rigged with TNT being rolled down hills at the UAF. Much innovation. Very tech. Wow.
Ray McGovern: no idea who he is, might be good, might be bad, feel free to link me his best and worst to help me make up my mind.
Tim Kirby: a friend of the blog! Hates Russian nationalists! Thinks I have a small dick:
Aussie Cossack: never heard of him or read his stuff. And I thought I was an expert. Shows how little I keep up with my own field.
If I am being charitable, what I am saying is not really a knock on some of these guys. It isn’t their fault that they can't speak Russian well enough to make sense of this stuff. Due to the nature and volume of the information coming out now, it is almost impossible to make sense of unless you devote many years to perfecting Russian, and you also preferably have to have lived in Russia for a long time to get good enough to contextualize it.
This is why, maybe, they mistakenly think that the Russian people support Shoigu. If they knew any Russians, sat in any Russian chats, watched all the videos flooding Telegram now of all the people coming out in support of Wagner, they would be forced to reconsider.
Lol, who am I kidding, they get paid by the spooks to toe the party line.
Now, the 24 hour coup didn’t just reveal that the Russian people support Wagner, or rather, hate Shoigu, but proved that the military largely supports Wagner or, if push comes to shove, will largely refuse to fight them on Shoigu and, by extension, Putin’s orders.
Even Kremlin-approved allies and politicians are admitting this.
Oleg Tsarev, who we have covered before several times already for his candid analyses had this to say:
Yesterday's success of the PMC was due to many reasons. But one of them is the neutrality of the military. The army, with rare exceptions, did not intervene. Why didn't the army intervene?
Because [the Wagnerites] are their comrades-in-arms. Many in the past served and studied together, fought in the same blood with them.
But the second reason is that in the conflict between Shoigu and Prigozhin, the army was on the side of Prigozhin. It's amazing, but I have a huge number of friends and acquaintances among the military. All as one are deeply negatively disposed against the Minister of Defense and his inner circle.
I know General Alekseev well. Significant for the army man. Remember that conversation between the three heroes of Russia: Yevkurov, Prigozhin and Alekseev. Vladimir Stepanovich Alekseev always liked to joke, but in his answer to Prigozhin’s words that they had come for Shoigu and Gerasimov, and Stepanovich answered: “take him away then ”, there was only a fraction of a joke.
Wow. Candid stuff, guys. And he is playing it down, if anything.
The video at the end that he is referring to is of Prigozhin capturing Rostov HQ and having a chat on the bench with those old officers.
As for military men hating Shoigu, well, literally everyone who reads my blog knows this to be true. I have translated articles, conducted interviews, done everything I could to get the information out there. All the people on the list of bloggers that I provided above know who I am. They refuse to engage with my material out of spite even though I provide primary sources that you can’t find anywhere else on the English internet.
I have a profile of a presidential candidate promoted by Russia’s veteran community coming out soon. You think Prigozhin’s critiques were bad? Wait ‘till you hear this. Russia’s veteran officers allege that the Kremlin is organizing a deliberate demographic genocide of the Russian people. And they are correct, of course.
The only real news has been Shoigu finally showing his face and pretending to look busy while inspecting hardware, touring facilities, starting at stuff. You know, Shoigu used to be a big media hog in the day. Boy did he love the cameras. After the disastrous SMO failed, he went into hiding and refused to do media events. It must be pretty bad for him to be showing his face in public now.
I still don’t think he will be fired by the current Kremlin gang though.
Don’t forget to restack my article, please. Also, spam it at some of the idiots I called out above. Seeing my name in their inbox or in their comments makes them seethe, trust me. They fear to even utter the word “Rolo.”
That is because my name has become a killing word.