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crickets's Journal
crickets's Journal
June 24, 2023

Sums up the Russia vs Wagner civil unrest. (Humor)

Video is hilarious, accurate:


Johnstone.Gregory has a YouTube channel, but the vid isn't there yet. Sorry.

June 24, 2023


Darth Putin
I have given Wagner security guarantees. They can ask Ukraine what those are worth from me.
3:31 PM · Jun 24, 2023
June 24, 2023

Thoughts from Garry Kasparov Jun 24, 2023



Having been defeated repeatedly by Ukraine, Russian forces have found an easier opponent, one with corrupt leadership, incompetent commanders, and low morale.

Few if any are rooting for war criminal Prigozhin to replace war criminal Putin. But chaos is opportunity for change while the status quo is war and terror. It means fewer resources directed against Ukraine. Whatever the result in Russia, the regime will be weaker.

You cannot expect a liberal democracy to suddenly bloom in a dictatorship desert. It’s all rats, snakes, and scorpions. All you can hope for is opportunity for change where currently there is none. Leverage shifts, light gets in through cracks.

Russians have been fighting for nothing but the imperial delusions of a dictator and the monumental avarice of his mafia. Ukraine's bravery has exposed it all and it's literally and figuratively coming home. An interview:

Garry Kasparov -The Fall of Putin is Inevitable
The initial reaction to the military revolt in Russia from a leading Russian democratic figure.

Dictatorships are hard but brittle; one crack can shatter. Putin brutally repressed even our smallest opposition because he understood that any perception of weakness was fatal. His ability to hide the consequences of war from his elites is now over.

Putin's instincts are always to kill, including Russians. But will soldiers who fought in Ukraine and the amateur home guards obey and fire on Prigozhin's seasoned forces? The words of the generals who benefit from the mafia do not decide this.

My thread from when this first began last night. Now it has become clear the new reality is here, that quiet accommodation and restructuring to satisfy all factions is impossible.

There's no chain of command in Russia, no responsibility, and the media is waiting for orders that don't come. An armed convoy is en route to the capital and there's nothing but drivel because Putin knows violence will spread panic among a population he tells everything is fine.

As I just told Corriere de la Serra, the 1917 parallels are correct, but also a replica of Mussolini's march on Rome in 1922. It's not just a lost war, it's a long war going badly. Now soldiers from poor regions see the elites not fighting, living in luxury, on their mobile.


Garry Kasparov
It's a mafia, not a state, and they will walk back or swallow anything that is profitable. Infighting rarely is. This also exposes the stupidity of saying Putin needs off-ramps or to save face in Ukraine. He's a dictator, and can make up anything he wants.

Bill Browder @Billbrowder · 1h
New reports claim that Wagner boss turns troops back from Moscow. This doesn’t make any sense to me. Putin ordered Prighozin killed earlier today. How does he walk that back? How does Prighozin survive after this? Putin never forgives nor forgets https://apple.news/AksyHCoJOStucCt05JtD9KA

2:41 PM · Jun 24, 2023


Garry Kasparov
Prigozhin and Putin don't care about bloodshed. Not about Russians, not about Ukrainians or anyone else. They care about money and the power to keep it. If they made a deal, it will last only as long as the money does.
2:44 PM · Jun 24, 2023

June 24, 2023

Alexander S. Vindman ❎ Retweeted Sam Greene 2:52 PM Jun 24, 2023



My main thought, as Prigozhin sends his men back to base, is that this isn’t over yet.

I’m not suggesting that Prigozhin will try again. But my strong sense is that Putin’s challenges are only beginning.

From the first hours, Prigozhin’s uprising made Putin look weak, unable to control his own hinterland and the forces fighting his war. As Wagner troops got closer to Moscow, that only deepened.

To regain his mojo, Putin needed more than a speech: he needed to dispatch Prigozhin quickly and decisively. He did not do that.

The fact that this was moderated by Lukashenka strikes me as embarrassing in the extreme. Putin needs someone else to solve his problems?

By turning around “to avoid bloodshed”, Prigozhin somehow managed to make himself look like the cooler head — and, in fact, the only decisive person on the stage, given Putin’s conspicuous absence.

The question is, what does Putin do next? Unless Prigozhin is arrested and tried, what people will remember is that he could have stormed the capital but thought better of it; the futility of the whole thing will likely be forgotten.

But if he is arrested, he’ll be a martyr.

Assuming Putin somehow manages to square that circle, this whole episode may have punctured the air of inevitability that has kept him aloft for the past 23 years. Elites will wonder whether he can hold things together, and they may look more urgently for an alternative.

This will also be the conversation topic around tens of millions of kitchen tables, and people will debate whether Putin was right or wrong. Previously unimaginable things, like a change of leadership, may become more plausible.

Indeed, it’s hard to see how anyone wakes up in Moscow tomorrow and pretends that this didn’t just happen. Something will have to give.


Wow. What a night and a day, huh? Sounds like there may be more to come after all, though who knows exactly what that "more" will be.
June 24, 2023

The Atlantic: A Crisis Erupts in Russia

No paywall: https://archive.ph/BZj28

A simmering political feud in Russia has exploded into a crisis. The head of a Russian mercenary army fighting in Ukraine alongside Moscow’s official military forces has declared war against the Russian ministry of defense, claiming that Russia’s war in Ukraine was all the result of a giant plot by defense bureaucrats to mislead Russian President Vladimir Putin into a pointless conflict.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner private military company, also claims that Russian government forces struck his men and inflicted numerous casualties. The Russian defense ministry denies any involvement with the strike, but Prigozhin has gone, literally, on the warpath, claiming that he will march into the southern Russian city of Rostov and onward if necessary to topple the corrupt officials leading the Russian defense ministry and military high command. He is asking Russian police and military forces to stand aside while he gets “justice” for his troops, and then “justice for Russia.”

The Russian government, which has long welcomed Prigozhin’s assistance in conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, has apparently had enough of all this, especially now that Prigozhin is dismantling the Kremlin’s rationalizations for the war—and by extension, making Putin look like a fool or a liar or both. The Russian security services have opened a criminal case against Prigozhin for instigating a coup and issued a warrant for his arrest, something they could only do with Putin’s approval.[snip]

Prigozhin and Shoigu, both personally close to Putin, have good reason to hate each other. Shoigu’s forces have been humiliated in Ukraine, shown up both by the Ukrainians and Prigozhin’s mercenaries (a point Prigozhin hammers home every chance he gets). Prigozhin claims that Shoigu has withheld ammunition and supplies from Wagner, which is probably true; a defense minister is going to take care of his own forces first. The two men have a lot of bad blood between them, and Prigozhin might have been hoping to displace Shoigu or move up somehow in the Moscow power structure. But Shoigu is no rookie, and a Russian Defense Ministry edict was about to go into force requiring all mercenaries to sign up with the Russian military, which would place them under Shoigu’s control.

Much more, a good read that explains a lot.
June 24, 2023

It is weird. ETA


Dmitri Alperovitch
And there is precedent in modern Russia for such deals. Kadyrov (and his dad) were originally on the side of the rebels in the Second Chechen War (and had killed a lot of Russian soldiers) but then were convinced to switch sides and all was forgiven

Dmitri Alperovitch
We might very well see Moscow make a deal with Prigozhin - perhaps give him more power and say in how the war is being conducted.

They clearly don’t want to fight him and he has now made his point and also lowering the aggressiveness of his tone

1:11 AM · Jun 24, 2023


Much discussion (and dissent) in the replies, e.g.


The damage to Putin has already been done, by contradicting the official casualty reports and the whole reason for the SMO. Not sure if there is anyway for Putin to save face with a deal here.

June 24, 2023

They have money that wasn't skimmed from inventory and maintenance.

Wagner Group has gotten control of some African diamond and mineral mines, and not having to depend upon Putin entirely for a paycheck and equipment$ does tend to shift things a bit. In its own way, Wagner is just as bad as Putin.


June 24, 2023

Alexander S. Vindman ❎ Retweet:


Alexander S. Vindman ❎ Retweeted
Michael Kofman @KofmanMichael
I think this video, which just appeared, helps settle some of the confusion on forces involved. That said, the conversation is remarkable. And this is happening barely a day later.

Rob Lee @RALee85 · 41m
Video of Yevgeny Prigozhin meeting with Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-bek Yevkurov at the Southern Military District HQ.

12:37 AM · Jun 24, 2023

More from Rob Lee:

Rob Lee
The other official is Deputy Chief of the GRU/GU Vladimir Alekseev who was in charge of forming PMCs and coordinating with them for the MoD. Prigozhin clearly wanted to make a point that he isn't subordinate to a Deputy Defense Minister or Deputy Chief of the GRU. 2/
Rob Lee
And Yevkurov is a well-know figure. He was a VDV officer and received the Hero of Russia award for the Dash to Pristina. Prigozhin clearly wants to make clear that he is a higher status than these officials, comparable to Shoigu's level.

max seddon
Replying to @maxseddon and @AndrKolesnikov
In another video posted shortly afterwards, Prigozhin says Wagner controls "the military facilities of Rostov, including the airport," but is not hindering operations in the invasion of Ukraine.

“We do it in such a way that the attack planes do not hit us, but the Ukrainians."

June 24, 2023

Alexander Vindman is online and following tonight's events in Russia.


Alexander S. Vindman ❎
For all of those that have been wondering how the war in Ukraine is going, it’s going insurrection-in-Russia well. To be completely clear: this insurrection is the direct result of Russia’s disastrous military campaign.
9:29 PM · Jun 23, 2023


Alexander S. Vindman ❎
The question of why Prigozhin head to Rostov rather than Moscow is answered by the storming of the SMD HQ. It it the most strategic target in the South of Russia if you’re targeting the Ministry of Defense. Now that Prigozhin has the HQ does he consolidate or move on.
10:28 PM · Jun 23, 2023


Alexander S. Vindman ❎
The seizure of the SMD HQ and the potential consolidation of control over bases in the area has taken the insurrection into very dangerous territory. The SMD/ Operational Command South has slices of every single asset in Russia's arsenal including strategic assets.
10:41 PM · Jun 23, 2023


Alexander S. Vindman ❎
I’ve made the drive from Rostov to Moscow at least a dozen times. Voronezh is more than halfway to Moscow. If reports of Wagner fighting in Voronezh are accurate, then they are hours away from Moscow.
11:16 PM · Jun 23, 2023


Alexander S. Vindman ❎
We will know soon enough what Prigozhins plans are if his forces encounter the same limited resistance they faced in seizing key terrain in Rostov.
11:18 PM · Jun 23, 2023

Gripping stuff. This is wild.
June 24, 2023

✔ Kasparov has been busy today. Glad to hear from him; he knows the drill.


Garry Kasparov
Don't wonder what will happen if Russia collapses. It already did! Years ago. It's not a state, it's a mafia front with factions fighting each other for money, resources, and power.
5:50 PM · Jun 23, 2023 · 1.1M Views

Whatever is happening now, it was already clear Putin wasn't able to control every faction or to keep the infighting quiet or at least non-violent the way he mostly could before.

The pointing fingers among Russian factions will increasingly be on triggers as Ukrainian victories multiply. The towers of lies will collapse and new, smaller ones built. Defeat will be denied, then blamed on rivals, then fake victory declared by the survivors.

Whoever keeps control, Putin or anyone else, will be faced with threats & instability. It is vital for the free world not to offer any lifelines to murderers. We do not expect democracy and liberty to suddenly flourish, but there can be no deals with Russian war criminals.

There will be attempts to use internal conflict as pretext for ceasefires, sanctions relief, and other charades to give Russia time to regroup and reload while occupying Ukrainian territory & continuing the terror. No.

Do not let whatever mafia show that is now out in the open in Russia distract from the goal of Ukrainian victory. It is time to accelerate, not hesitate. If you agree that "let them all lose" in Russia is ideal, the road to that is victory. Glory to Ukraine.

PS Please keep in mind that even more than usual, everything coming out of the Kremlin, and Russian generally, will be lies. It's instinctive and about control. Such people would not admit they were drowning to a lifeguard.

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