Putin Panics as Prigozhin’s Mercenaries Spark Civil War Fears and Expose Russian Fragility

In a surprising turn of events, a mercenary group led by its chieftain Yevgeny Prigozhin launched an open revolt against Russia’s corrupt and kleptocratic government. Russian President Vladimir Putin finally came out of hiding twelve hours after the event to speak to Russians, urging them not to sympathize with the rebels and stay home instead. In his statement, Putin admitted that the revolt has endangered Russia’s state existence and predicted that it could lead to civil war.

Putin also made an appeal to the armed forces, law enforcement agencies, security services, and soldiers, urging them to unite in their fight against the aggression of neo-Nazis and their patrons who are trying to divide Russia. He condemned the rebels who staged an armed mutiny against their comrades, saying that their actions split the nation and are essentially a betrayal of our people, comrades-in-arms and the common cause.

The president also referenced the Russian Revolution of 1917, saying that a blow like this was dealt to Russia, leading to the greatest turmoil, destruction of the army and the collapse of the state and loss of vast territories resulting in the tragedy of the Civil War. He vowed to protect the nation and its sovereignty from any threats, including internal betrayal, and urged people being dragged into a crime not to make a fatal mistake.

Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozhin defended the revolt, stating that they are patriots of their motherland fighting against corruption, deception, and bureaucracy. He said that Russian bureaucrats sit there saving the money for themselves, specifically for the day when somebody will march on Moscow. He said that they’re using planes and helicopters to bomb columns where there are civilians, and ultimately, they’re hurting the country while they profit from it.

New developments reveal fighting in Voronezh, and Prigozhin’s target is Moscow. Wagner is bringing weapons with them, and Wagner convoys have been attacked by Russian aircraft. The military command center and logistic hub at Rostov-on-Don are in Wagner’s hands, making it difficult for supplies and men to reach the Ukraine front without Wagner letting them through.

There are reports that both Putin and Medvedev had fled Moscow. Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov sent his Chechen fighters to Rostov-on-Don and has rallied to Putin. Russians could sympathize with Wagner’s fighters while civilians in Rostov see them as heroes.

The revolt came as a surprise to many and showed that the Russian regime is extremely brittle, and all it takes is one rogue actor leaving the scripted play to bring things to a halt. Putin’s regime has lost its combat power to stop the Wagner fighters in Voronezh, and any day now, the danger of the contagion of the revolution spreading to the regular Army increases. This could lead to significant implications on the war in Ukraine, as men and supplies can only reach Ukraine by transiting the Kerch Strait bridge that the Ukrainians cut in October.

Written by Staff Reports

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