Our country will never be the same again. The convoy of Wagnerites was not moving on the asphalt – it moved through the hearts of people, cutting society in half. We prayed to God that the enemy would not take advantage of the situation and throw all the resources into battle – we would almost have no chance. We already have a hard time, but yesterday everything hung on a very thin thread. And those who understood what was at stake and how close we came to a defeat will never understand those who shouted glory to the Wagnerites, rejoicing that someone challenged the authorities.
I said yesterday: this is my fourth putsch in my life. Each of them began under a plausible pretext, and after each the space changed not in our favor. Those who hold the front have been stabbed in the back. Those whose lives depend on holding the front experienced the darkest hours yesterday, despite the fact that every day these people are under the influence of war. Millions of people yesterday experienced horror at the thought that everything they had endured over the past years would be crossed out in one day. These millions will never be able to look into the eyes of those who hooted at the sight of falling helicopters shot down yesterday without judgment.
Comment: With these words yesterday, Alexander Khodakovsky summarized the lasting results of Prigozhin’s short lived mutiny/coup attempt. Khodakovsky was one of the original military and political leaders of the DNR back in 2014. Today he again commands the Vostok Battalion or Brigade. I agree with him. This is the only lasting result of Prigozhin’s attempt at a grand Pristina Dash.
Fortunately for all, both Prigozhin and Putin backed down from an all-or-nothing shooting war. A shooting war in the streets of Moscow, even if it only lasted a day or two, would have been bad, not just for Prigozhin and Putin, but for all of Russia and the rest of the world. Russia has her nuclear arsenal, a vast, armed security apparatus and a military battered and traumatized by its botched invasion of Ukraine. Who would end up in charge of what would be a frightening unknown if Putin’s hold on the regime cracked.
As it turned out Prigozhin’s call for Russian units to come to his side went largely unanswered except for a notable few including the entire 22nd Spetsnaz Brigade. He could not be assured of capturing Moscow or even major facilities within Moscow with the few thousand of his Wagner mercenaries that were driving north from Rostov. As it turned out, the Russian Army didn’t rally en masse to Putin’s aid. A lot of units, including the 45th Spetsnaz Brigade, were taking a wait and see attitude. Left with his Rosgvardia who are far more adept at beating up kids and old people than facing combat hardened troops, Putin wasn’t assured of a quick victory, either. Thus the compromise with no more than a couple of dozen casualties, some diminished reputations and a wounded and perhaps questioning nation.
Note: There are plenty of partial chronologies of events and even more analyses out there. Many of them are little more than guesswork, rumor collections and wishful thinking. Take your pick. I do recommend a few essays by Tom Cooper as a good place to start.