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Exiling Prigozhin & His Collaborators To Belarus Serves Russian Interests
This pragmatic de-escalation deal served more Russian interests than just nipping a potentially incipient civil war in the bud, however, though the following outcomes were of course improvised and not preplanned like some in the Alt-Media Community might imagine.
The decision to exile Prigozhin and his collaborators to Belarus after their failed coup attempt over the weekend has prompted speculation among some in the Alt-Media Community (AMC) that this supposedly signals that their regime change attempt was a false flag. They struggle to understand why President Putin would mercifully give them a final chance to save their lives instead of ruthlessly kill these mutineers as they approached Moscow. For that reason, they suspect that there’s a secret plan.
According to the prevailing conspiracy theory, this was supposedly done in order to move large amounts of personnel and equipment to Belarus in preparation for opening up a northern front, one which might even make another run on Kiev. Adherents of this view don’t account for why President Putin would plot Russia’s worst political crisis since 1993 for this purpose, which brought global attention to these military movements and even resulted in the deaths of some pilots like he acknowledged on Monday.
Had they listened to his aforesaid national address on that day, which can be read in full here at the official Kremlin website, then they’d see how serious he was about preventing the large-scale bloodshed that his country’s enemies were hoping to see. This pragmatic de-escalation deal also served more Russian interests than just nipping a potentially incipient civil war in the bud, however, though the following outcomes were of course improvised and not preplanned like some in the AMC might imagine.
For starters, President Putin said the following on Monday about Prigozhin’s group: “the majority of Wagner Group soldiers and commanders are also Russian patriots, loyal to their people and their state. Their courage on the battlefield when liberating Donbass and Novorossiya proves this. An attempt was made to use them without their knowledge against their comrades-in-arms with whom they were fighting shoulder to shoulder for their country and its future.”
Considering this assessment, it makes sense for him to offer them the chance to go into exile in Belarus if they don’t want to sign contracts with the Defense Ministry or return to their families. Some might be too ashamed to remain in their homeland after what they just did, hence the importance of providing them with a respectable exit plan to relocate to allied Belarus and start a new life. There wouldn’t be any resentment in that case that could be exploited by toxic nationalist forces to radicalize them or society.
This is relevant for Prigozhin as well since he wasn’t turned into a martyr around which domestic extremists could rally but will instead eke out a shameful existence under state supervision after being defanged. He wisely chose to save his own life and that of those who he misled, but in doing so, he showed that he wasn’t willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his self-professed causes. This in turn reduces their appeal among some of those who might have previously supported them.
The next way in which this deal serves Russian interests is that it’s already had the effect of striking fear in Belarus’ NATO neighbors after Lithuania and Poland declared that they’ll strengthen their border security after the news broke. They’ve come to respect this group’s prowess in the NATO-Russian proxy war after it played a leading role in the Battle of Artyomovsk. Accordingly, even if Wagner isn’t active in Belarus, its very presence there has a powerful psychological effect on neighboring populations.
Moving along, Prigozhin claimed in his first audio address since the failed coup that Belarusian President Lukashenko will legalize his group’s operations, which if true would actually serve Russian interests as well. His host warned earlier this month that the West is preparing another coup against him, shortly after which he strongly hinted that he also expects Belgorod-like proxy incursions too. If Wagner is allowed to legally operate in Belarus, then it could be put to use in defending that allied country.
Upon doing so, their ashamed members might then redeem themselves in the court of public opinion after proving their patriotism beyond any doubt and extending credence to President Putin’s claim that they were regrettably misled by their leader into committing treason. After all, those bonafide patriots among them might feel motivated to salvage their reputations by serving the Russian World in this respect, which would be beneficial for all players involved if they were to tap into that opportunity.
In closing, President Putin’s decision to exile Prigozhin and his collaborators to Belarus was a masterful way to end last weekend’s regime change crisis. It gave those who were misled an opportunity to start a new life in that allied country if they were too ashamed to remain in their own while also ensuring that their leader doesn’t become a martyr around which domestic extremists could rally. Furthermore, they could even end up playing a decisive role in defending Belarus from NATO’s impending Hybrid War plots.
This outcome was the result of pragmatic improvisation, not prior planning, which those well-intended but naïve members of the AMC who hitherto fell for conspiracy theories about Prigozhin’s failed coup attempt must accept if they’re sincere in their support of Russia. Anyone who continues clinging to the discredited explanation about these events alleging that they were supposedly a false flag cooked up by President Putin is functioning as a “sixth columnist” to manipulate perceptions about him and Russia.