June 25, 2023


Putin looked into the abyss Saturday -- and blinked (David Ignatius, June 24, 2023, Washington Post)

The speed with which Putin backed down suggests that his sense of vulnerability might be higher even than analysts believed. Putin might have saved his regime Saturday, but this day will be remembered as part of the unraveling of Russia as a great power -- which will be Putin's true legacy.

Putin's Regime 'Is Over,' Says Analyst, And 'Something New Is Starting In Russia' (Vazha Tavberidze, 6/25/23, Radio Liberty)

After Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, ordered -- and then called off -- his forces to march on Moscow, RFE/RL's Georgian Service spoke to Konstantin Eggert, an independent journalist and political analyst, about how this has significantly weakened Russian President Vladimir Putin's grip on power. [...]

Konstantin Eggert: [L]et me say one thing: This event has significantly weakened Putin's grip on his own system. It has significantly weakened his ability to prosecute the war. It has created chaos among the millions of Russian civil servants on whose shoulders this regime stands.... I think that the Putin regime, as we knew it, is over, and something new is starting in Russia. Maybe, by the way, worse, although it's difficult to imagine something worse, especially if you are Ukrainian. But I do not think we can presume anymore that Putin is in full control of the country and that he is really the master of his fate.

RFE/RL: Why would Prigozhin do all of this in the first place?

Eggert: At this moment, we don't know. But the mere fact that at least on the surface of it, it was Lukashenka who stopped the advance on Moscow, means that, in the eyes of the Russian bureaucracy, Putin is no longer tops. He depends on Lukashenka to communicate with Prigozhin, and this means Putin -- who was saying in the morning that Prigozhin was essentially a traitor -- is now negotiating with this traitor [via] an intermediary who is supposed to be his junior partner.

Posted by at June 25, 2023 9:53 AM