please post any subsequent updates here unless they’re huge happenings. i just woke up and half our news front page is updates which is nice but also A Lot and most of these don’t have to be their own thread

@xeger@lib.lgbt
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My pet hypothesis is that Putin and Prigozhin were engaging in a bit of play acting to stage Wagner troops for an action against Ukraine (Prigozhin benefits) and illustrate the legal and financial measures that Putin will take against powerful dissenters (Putin benefits).

With 25k troops, there’s simply no way Wagner could have succeeded in a coup. The regular army is better equipped and could have severed their supply lines with minimal effort, starving the coup with minimal bloodshed. They could have done this in their own interests, and not necessarily in defense of Putin.

Considering how swiftly Wagner’s offices were raided and their assets seized, this affair makes more sense as a morality tale to caution antsy oligarchs than as a military action.

You give too much credit to putin and prigozhin in terms of strategies thinking. Usually when things seem simple they are and in this case it’s just short term vision by both sides and signs of weakness in both as well. It’s really funny how some people try to spin this situation as “putin staged it all to draw Ukraine into a trap and to show his strength”

Yozul
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Putin declared Prigozhin a traitor on national TV, then fled Moscow, then gave Prigozhin everything he asked for and let him walk away. All within a day. This wasn’t some 5D chess nonsense. Putin just surrendered.

@grumbul@beehaw.org
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I haven’t been able to figure out from any of the arti Lea I’ve seen… What is it that Putin ended up giving to Prigozhin? What was Prigozhin asking for?

BuxtonWater
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Putin hasn’t done anything yet except flee to safety yet, he doesn’t personally hold a gun in moscow to hold it as his own. A surrender would mean a civil war in wagner’s favor. Currently not at that point of desperation but we are getting there. An interesting situatiuon nevertheless.

Yozul
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Putin’s absolutely still in charge of Russia until someone else tries something. He still lost to Wagner though. Prigozhin got everything he wanted out of his little stunt. Putin caved because he was afraid.

Despite what a lot of people have said, this wasn’t about Prigozhin trying to pull off a coup. Wagner was supposed to be absorbed into the Russian army, and rumor had it that Prigozhin was going to be in serious trouble when that happened. Now he gets to take his still independent army to Belarus and got his enemies in the MoD fired. Prigozhin got what he wanted, and Putin couldn’t stop him.

Where does this information come from. All I’ve heard is the Wagner guys aren’t heading towards Moscow and some deal was made involving the president of Belarus. Are there specifics that have been made public?

@floofloof@lemmy.ca
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Several news sites are reporting that part of the deal was for Prigozhin to go and live in Belarus. It’s not clear whether he’s supposed to take the Wagner troops with him, but there are questions about their loyalty to him now, since he may have set them up to be absorbed into the Russian army.

@LostRedditor@lemmy.ml
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There’s something up. Both putin and Wagners head aren’t stupid.

I feel it’s a plan to justify future actions.

Papamousse
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Yes, Poutine highly control GRU with an iron glove, and Wagner is controlled by GRU. It’s a masquerade to kick choigou and guerassimov because they are bad.

@Favor@beehaw.org
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I think this is legitimately the commander of the most elite force being fed up that his men are dying in a losing war and his recommendations falling on deaf ears. His “I need ammo” video from a few weeks ago certainly wasn’t part of some grand masquerade either, the city’s supply lines were just destroyed by Ukrainian artillery.

He’s not demanding Putin out, he’s demanding changes in military leadership to properly supply and command the war forces. He can’t just leave the war at this point, so he had to do something drastic otherwise most of his forces will end up as casualties. It also gives him some setup to actually leave the war if his demands aren’t met.

All of this “highly controlled” talk has gotten a little hyperbolic given recent events. I think there’s serious reason to think Putin has an at least somewhat loose control of everything except the oligarchs and GRU. He absolutely has the wealth and kompromat that is claimed and there’s no question he’s had several oligarchs assassinated, but beyond that it appears his control and oversight is relatively weak. Probably because competent people are dangerous to give too much power to. Look at Prigozhin, he’s far from being capable of knocking Putin down but he’s still starting to make demands.

What happens when you give barely competent and corrupt people the majority of the military leadership roles? Ukraine - the best equipped troops were sent in first but the plan barely went beyond that and went completely tits up once those forces got wiped out. They keep outrunning the supply lines of what little they do have. Morale is in free fall.

I don’t think Putin is close to getting ousted, but for the same reason Russia can’t be more than a barely functional country. There just aren’t enough competent people in powerful positions that he trusts/can control to run a country.

Papamousse
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Thanks for your insight :)

@floofloof@lemmy.ca
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It makes both Putin and Prigozhin look bad though. Would they go through this damage to their reputations and prospects just for that? And couldn’t Putin just have fired those guys without going through some elaborate pantomime first?

@LostRedditor@lemmy.ml
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Putin benefited from:

  1. Showed that the largest military group couldn’t complete a coup
  2. No longer need to justify the damage Wagner group done
  3. Shows Russian that he prefer to negotiate rather than bloodshed
  4. Shows international theatre that Russian troops are loyal, peaceful, and follow orders
  5. Identified disloyal government officials who sided with Wagner if any

And the list goes on

Wagner head got out of it and terrorisim accusations in the future

I’m still thinking that it’s not over. Moscow still on high alert.

@Revan343@lemmy.ca
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  1. Showed that the largest military group couldn’t complete a coup

This showed that they wouldn’t, at least under these circumstances, not that they couldn’t.

I agree with all other points though.

Wagner opened fire on Russian forces. Shot down helicopters and apparently at least one transport plane. That’s a lot for just playacting. No pretense would be needed to replace a general in wartime. It’s a common occurrence throughout history, and Putin wouldn’t need an excuse either way, since he answers to no one in the Russian government. As to the statement that neither Putin nor Prigozhin are stupid… Well this entire conflict has provided an enormous amount of evidence to the contrary.

@Syldon@lemmy.one
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Prigozhin would be wise to never go above the ground floor.

@runekn@beehaw.org
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Well that was… weird.

I saw several alleged videos of russian frontline units pledging their support for Prigozhin. Combine that with how little resistance wagner faced and Putin might have realized how weak his position is and given in to replacing MOD staff. Not a good look the same day he declared Prigozhin a traitor and promised punishment.

Trading the long-term stability for the short-term. Because now every aspiring russian warlord know that if you don’t like something about the state, all you need is just a big enough private army to bully the kremlin, lol.

@Pyr_Pressure@lemmy.ca
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I mean, what would Wagner do once they reach Moscow? Sit at Putins desk and start giving orders? No one would listen, they’d all still take orders from Putin sitting in St Petersburg or just quit an go home and wait it out.

cannache
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And soon Russia will face the same problem as Iraq and Afghanistan did

BuxtonWater
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Probably just re-enact Jan 6 but Russian for the propaganda points, then skedaddling before the hammer comes down.

I imagine they would take over the city, and completely destabilize Russia.

It doesn’t matter if nobody wants to listen to you if you become the local law enforcement.

@techters@beehaw.org
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I don’t know why anyone is taking any of this seriously. For all we know, this was done to lure Ukraine into following them into Russia to fall into a set trap, or theater or withdraw and resupply without looking weak. It is odd that it looks like Putin had weakness, but they can always say that’s what it was later and the propaganda will work like it always does.

The dogspaw
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I think you watch to many movies real life isn’t that well planned most likely he got mad launched an ill planned invasion then made a deal with putin when both realized they could lose everything fighting each other

@maynarkh@feddit.nl
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It would be weird to shoot down friendly helicopters and launch cruise missiles at friendly formations just to make a big feint.

Ukraine just needs to take the land bridge to Crimea, I don’t see they have any incentive to go inwards towards Russia.

@techters@beehaw.org
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Do we know for certain that any of that happened though? Because I haven’t seen any video of actual engagement between Wagner and Russia.

@maynarkh@feddit.nl
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Well, here’s some footage with a shot down C&C plane. I mean it still could be not Wagner, but it would be an awful coincidence.

I mean we still don’t know shit beyond the fact that Ukraine is holding strong and slowly reclaiming territory. The thing about this story is that it shows that the Russians are divided, and that’s not a picture you want to show in a war, especially to your people. These events are costing the Russians dearly in one way or another.

P03 Locke
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Well, it would certainly be a massive moral blow to Russia if Ukraine just up and freed Crimea. The bigger challenge would be installing a leader that isn’t going to turn around and give the country back to Putin.

@tias@discuss.tchncs.de
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Do you really think Ukraine has an interest on following them into Russia? If I was them I would just want to take back Ukraine and secure the borders.

@techters@beehaw.org
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They currently have an operation attacking into Russia’s boarder…

@abhibeckert@beehaw.org
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Only if you accept Russia’s description of where the border is. The border as defined by every other country in the entire world says Ukraine is still in their own territory.

There have been some Ukrainian sympathisers setting off bombs/shooting down aircraft/etc inside Russian territory - but those aren’t Ukranian soldiers and they’re pretty generally just a few random/nonconsequential attacks and don’t show any signs of being linked to any “Operation”. The front line of the battlefield is nowhere near the border.

@techters@beehaw.org
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No, it’s documented and reported by Ukraine and US as they counterattacked on Russian soil and it was an issue because of the US supplying weapons to them: https://www.lemonde.fr/en/international/article/2023/05/29/an-increasing-number-of-ukrainian-attacks-on-russian-soil-are-upsetting-the-united-states-and-kyiv-s-allies_6028312_4.html

@rammer@sopuli.xyz
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They don’t. But Putin in his own disinformation bubble may think so.

What a weird outcome. Putin now looks weak and Prigozhin looks stupid for trusting any deal that Putin could make.

@runekn@beehaw.org
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I wonder how many russians are actually happy with this outcome. Kremlin loyalist must be depressed, since their leader basically turned into a puppet. And the extreme wagner supporters wanted it to go all the way. So both sides hardcode supporters are now depressed. Some wagner members probably just wanted putin to concede even after his speech so they may be happy. Civilians that support none may be happy that their society didn’t collapse and cities turned to war zones.

Ukrainians are disappointed that the distraction didn’t last a little longer, but none the less content with a weakened Russia.

This is nothing new. Politics has long involved compromise. Hardliners rarely get what they want.

interolivary
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“Opportunity to return to Africa.”

Yeah, I suppose massacring badly equipped CAR “rebels” (while also guarding their diamond mines) and civilians is a lot more fun than having to fight someone being equipped by the military-industrial complex of the combined West.

Edit: oh and related to how many Russians are happy with this, this Mastodon post had some numbers from a Russian political blogger:

A popular Russian political blogger Tatiana Stanovaya ran a poll on her Telegram earlier today, asking: “how do you feel about the current situation”

Votes:

  • 12% supporting Prigozhin
  • 48% “let them fight, there are no heroes here”
  • 29% “this is a catastrophe, I’m scared”
  • 8% against the coup
  • 3% “give power to the people”

https://t.me/stanovaya/1647

The numbers will be skewed due to the audience, but still interesting>

@floofloof@lemmy.ca
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Those figures can’t be at all reassuring to Putin.

@bob@lemmy.havocperil.uk
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Just had a thought, what if Putin has taken Prigozhin’s family hostage and pretending to take the deal is just a play for time while they rescue them? It would be a great movie plot.

What if the Ukrainians paid Wagner to do this to cause a distraction? That would be pretty crazy too!

demvoter
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Rumors on telegram that Shoigu has been detained.

https://hachyderm.io/@mariyadelano/110600510097838790

arefx
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Just saw on the news that Wagner is turning around after Lukashenko got involved?

cannache
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Well that would be funny

olbaidiablo
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Belarus is more likely to side with Wagner over Lukashenko. That clown will be gone the second Putin is.

exohuman
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Backing down like this puts a target on their heads. It’s never wise to do something like a coup and not follow through .

Elsie
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I saw that as well. Idk, it just seems really unlikely to just back down from a coup because Belarus gets involved…

Storksforlegs
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Also didnt Lulashenko just jet over to Turkey?

This has been months in the making. From what I can tell it’s a mix of Russian incompitence in the war effort and the Kremlins attempts to control more of Wagner. I have no idea where this is going or what either side has in mind but it’s definetly motivated by Wagner seeing the Kremlin itself as being the thing holding the war effort back.

@JCPhoenix@beehaw.org
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This feels like wrestling “Kayfabe.” Like, was this just some weird feint by Russia? Try to bait Ukraine into doing something? This would be a new level of gaslighting if so…

So strange.

It could also be a way to shake out any elements of the Russian military or other paramilitary groups that are looking for ways to get out of Ukraine. Like, maybe the attacks on Wagner coming from the Russian army are rogue elements where Wagner is obviously the most effective target for friendly fire.

@xeger@lib.lgbt
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This.

Tyson712
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I had that thought too, some false flag to get Ukraine to launch it’s main counteroffensive early

@JCPhoenix@beehaw.org
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Now hearing from Al Jazeera news and NYT that Prigozhin has agreed to order his Wagner troops back to their bases. What in the hell is going on?

demvoter
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Wagner troops taking over nuclear facility

https://hachyderm.io/@mariyadelano/110600171242124978

AshDene
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Needs an “allegedly”, apart from being a questionable source in the first place (as a random social media account, nothing against the person running it), the source you quoted makes it clear that they aren’t confident in their own source.

A nuclear weapons storage facility. The prospect of Prigozhin and his prison-recruited mercenaries in charge of nuclear weapons is not reassuring.

While that’s true, those weapons are currently under the control of a fascist government and increasingly desperate despot, so I don’t see how them being in the hands of mercs is any worse. At least you know what mercs are motivated by.

Square Singer
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I wonder how many of them are actually made of wood.

@boonhet@lemm.ee
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For context: I’m Estonian. Our nation has a great deal of history with Russian imperialism, under both tsarist and soviet rules. Even Putin has threatened us before. So clearly I’m not a supporter of the Russian regime or their imperialistic ambitions. However, I’m going to present an unpopular opinion.

The balkanization of Russia, if it were to happen, would not be beneficial in the long run. At least not for the people at large.

Yes, the big western cities would be a lot more liberal and open to democracy than the vast countryside. However, we need to consider the fact that different Russian oblasts have VAST differences in economic power. The big cities will thrive on their own, sure, but their tax money would then no longer be used to help people in the more remote regions. Not that these regions are getting a lot of attention now, but at least under a different regime for the current Russian nation as it is, it’d be possible to improve infrastructure, education, industry, etc. for towns in remote oblasts.

And leaving those people farther and farther behind, will cause new unrests. And definitely there would be military dictatorships who promise better lives, etc.

Therefore, a division of Russia into small states might actually cause more issues in the long run. Not that I’m a fan of it staying intact either.

It’s a choice between two evils of unknown magnitude, the only good thing is that none of us are the ones making that choice so we don’t have to live with it on our consciences.

@abhibeckert@beehaw.org
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The big cities will thrive on their own, sure, but their tax money would then no longer be used to help people in the more remote regions.

As an Australian, I assure you it is possible for a country of “big cities” to fund activity in remote areas. I won’t say we do it a perfect job of it here, but we do a decent enuogh job and some of our remote towns are far more remote than anything in the northern hemisphere. Some Australian towns are several hours by airplane to the nearest city and don’t even have a reliable source of water. And yet, the people living there have relatively comfortable lives.

@boonhet@lemm.ee
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The problem in my mind is that the big cities and the remote areas would likely become separate countries, so there’ll be about a 100x difference in GDP per capita between the richest and poorest post-Russian nations.

P03 Locke
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Having some of these countries turn into democracies is better than having none of these countries turn into democracies. Large countries like Russia cannot cohesively rule over its populace without establishing some sort of dictatorship. Democracy in Russia didn’t last because there were too many rich oligarchs corrupting government power back to a form they could control. China is in the same category.

If they have any hope to establish and maintain a democracy, the country must be broken up.

cannache
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How about a republic or collective of smaller democracies? Similar to the EU, but with borscht, saunas and separate regional currencies, and one major shared currency, e.g. Ethereum, for cross country business exchange of goods.

🦘min0nim🦘
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Nice theory but it doesn’t hold up very well. Both Canada and Australia are enormous countries that are both well functioning democracies.

There are a number of great sources that describe the conditions for good democracies - and intolerance of corruption is a vital condition. That’s something that has never really been taken seriously in Russia, so in some ways it’s no surprise it’s come to this.

P03 Locke
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About 90% of Canada lives 100 miles from the southern border, so I wouldn’t call the whole country “populated”. Australia is in a similar situation with its deserts. Sure, Russia also has cold, sparsely populated regions, but most of the landmass is still habitable.

Even then, Russia is still twice as large as both of those countries, and has at least double the population density.

cannache
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India is also an example of a very corrupt and badly managed democracy, so your point is moot.

The reality as far as we’ve seen is that certain cultures where information is tightly controlled, traditional masculinity is prized, and sole survivor mentality among men is very valued, there tends to be more of an acceptance if not casual support for the simplicity of a dictatorship.

The other issue is that not all democracies are equal and an educated and experienced populace where individuals are most capable of taking care of themselves while providing maximum utility for themselves and others is where democracy is most likely to be of greatest compliment for a system.

Match!!
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Counterpoint: Smaller oblasts may be better suited to deal with corruption and accept foreign aid

@boonhet@lemm.ee
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Yeaaaaaah unlikely in that culture.

@fidodo@beehaw.org
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It might cause more issues in those states but wouldn’t each of them be weaker? I don’t know how to fix Russia, but if it can’t be fixed I’d rather they not be strong enough to attack other countries.

@boonhet@lemm.ee
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Depends on whether they’ll manage to get control of the nukes. They’re likely stashed all around the nation, but the question is how difficult it would be to gain launch capability, since the existing infrastructure would likely not be usable by local militaries.

We’re also talking about the potential suffering of millions of people.

cannache
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I doubt anyone would seriously want to fire a nuke even if the country fell into a civil war.

It’s more of a saying or sentiment so to speak - that the system could be nuked and people would perhaps arguably be better off to reform from scratch, with the knowledge of hindsight rather than with the current difficulties.

If the local economies fail to sustain and source advanced material and components needed for the infrastructure, it might end up not being a big problem.

I imagine the nations would end up falling under the control of other nations, such as China, who does not desire nuclear war.

But yes, it would very much still be a humanitarian nightmare for those places.

Chances are decent that the nukes don’t work any more, so that may not be a threat at all.

I’m still reluctant to put that hypothesis to the test, though, for obvious reasons…

@Revan343@lemmy.ca
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I doubt the tritium is being reliably refilled, but a second stage fizzle is still a disaster, and I’m sure at least some of them can still create a sizable explosion

Right you are. I also wonder whether the rockets all still work, but as you say, at least some of them probably still do.