06.24.23 17:45 UTC UPDATE:
The “coup” appears to be over. From RT:
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced on Saturday that he had arranged a deal whereby Wagner Group leader Evgeny Prigozhin will abandon his mutiny in exchange for “security guarantees” for his fighters.
“Evgeny Prigozhin accepted the proposal of President Alexander Lukashenko to stop the movement of armed men of Wagner in Russia and take further steps to de-escalate tension,” read a statement from Lukashenko’s office.
According to the statement, Lukashenko and Prigozhin held talks for the “whole day,” and “came to an agreement on the inadmissibility of unleashing a bloodbath on the territory of Russia.”
Lukashenko’s office said that the talks were held in coordination with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that Prigozhin was offered “an advantageous and acceptable option of resolving the situation, with security guarantees for the Wagner PMC fighters.”
This appears to be end of the crisis de jour. The consequences of this action though will reverberate for months inside the Kremlin and inside Russia for quite some time. More as news warrants later.
06.24.23 11:50 UTC UPDATE:
Good morning to all of my readers as the events of the last 12 hours have been beyond wild in the Russian theater of war and inside Russia itself. Last night the rumors of an attempted coup by PMC Wagner were rampant all over social media and what is known “Russian” Telegram channels. I really wanted to wait to report on this because there was a great degree of uncertainty as to if this was a serious event or a Russian sponsored psyop. It would appear this morning to be the former as reflected by the front page of RT this morning:
The private military group has elected to occupy parts of Rostov, which in this author’s opinion is a fool’s errand.
It would also appear that the Russian National Guard and Akhmat forces are preparing to confront the mercenaries in Rostov-on-Don as the civilians have been ordered to disperse up to 2 km away from the location of Wagner forces.
There is also a column of Wagner troops reportedly heading towards Moscow:
Needless to say the Russian military will not allow this to happen.
In the mean time Yevgeny Prigozhin issued a statement from Rostov earlier this morning:
Yevgeny Prigozhin speaking once again from the Southern Military District Headquarters in the City of Rostov-on-Don, stating that Wagner has Occupied all of the Military Installations across the City including the Airfield to insure that the Russian Air Force is Attacking the… pic.twitter.com/S3krmZqEg6— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) June 24, 2023
Obviously he and his sponsors are all dead men walking. Vladimir Putin gave a nationwide address about this situation several hours ago:
At the moment the Russians are removing and arresting the Wagner leadership in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and other Russian cities. The situation is quite unstable but for Wagner a final stand which will not have the results that Prigozhin thinks that they will. Odds are this will be the end of the Russian Minister of Defense, Shoigu, who has been accused by hardliners in Moscow of incompetence in his management of the war.
After the dust clears, look for some encampments in Siberia to rapidly be posting “no vacancy” signs as a purge in the Kremlin will follow this obvious MoD and intelligence failure.
Instead of calming things down, odds are a true hardcore military leader will take over at the Russian MoD and the intensity in the Ukraine conflict will ratchet up dramatically. Unfortunately for those who enjoyed some modicum of freedom in modern Russia, this era will be coming to a close also. The West is about to get their worst nightmare with an angry Putin and an even more militarized Russian state.
More postings on this as time permits later today.