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Prigozhin’s Attempted Coup Risks Russia Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory
What Prigozhin just did recklessly risks Russia snatching defeat from the jaws of victory if this ultimately undermines its present advantage in the “race of logistics” with NATO, which could reverse its on-the-ground gains in the worst-case scenario and thus endanger its national security.
“Prigozhin’s Treason Is Unacceptable No Matter One’s Opinion Of The Special Operation”, which President Putin made abundantly clear in his national address on Saturday morning hours after the Wagner chief launched his armed coup attempt the night prior. What makes it all the worse, however, is that it risks Russia snatching defeat from the jaws of victory if Kiev is able to revive its failed NATO-backed counteroffensive like the Defense Ministry (DM) said that it already tried to do Friday night.
President Putin strongly signaled earlier this month on three back-to-back occasions, which were analyzed here citing quotes from the official Kremlin transcripts, that he’s open to a political resolution to the NATO-Russian proxy war if the US stops arming Kiev. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov extended credence to the aforesaid assessment in subsequent remarks that were analyzed here, as did head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna talks on military security and arms control Konstantin Gavrilov.
Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission Sergey Glazyev, who’s regarded as one of the godfathers of Russia’s geo-economic strategy, placed the abovementioned developments into context in a detailed Telegram post that can be read in full here. In short, he compellingly compared Prigozhin’s attempted coup to the one that ultimately led to Russia losing World War I, arguing that it stands on the brink of victory right now just like it did back then.
The counteroffensive’s failure exacerbated preexisting divisions within the West, which Glazyev said has led to Kiev’s “masters preparing for peace negotiations”. For precisely that reason, however, he assessed that the Anglo-American Axis and possibly an unnamed West Asian country’s intelligence agency launched this coup attempt out of desperation to replicate the World War I template in modern times. There’s a logic to his analysis since this internecine conflict could greatly erode Russia’s logistical edge.
As it presently stands, Russia is winning the so-called “war of logistics”/”war of attrition” with NATO that Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg finally acknowledged in mid-February, which is the most important variable shaping the course of this conflict. If Prigozhin’s attempted coup isn’t stopped right away, then it could undermine Moscow’s logistical lead by diverting the full focus of its efforts from the front, not to mention the potential destruction of valuable military assets if force is required to stop him.
These military-strategic observations discredit Prigozhin’s rationale for launching his attempted coup. He claims that he’s doing so in defense of the national interest with a view towards optimizing the way in which the special operation is waged, but the kinetic phase of the conflict was arguably ending and giving way to the gradual resumption of peace talks before he decided to dispatch his troops to Moscow. The tragedy is that Prigozhin thus threatens the same national interests that he claims to be defending.
It remains unclear exactly to what extent Glazyev’s claim of foreign intelligence meddling is accurate, but at the very least, it could have been that hostile spy agencies indirectly manipulated Prigozhin’s perceptions about the DM in order to push him into launching his coup. Their psychological analysis of him would have informed them that he’s already on edge and paranoid, thus facilitating their efforts to plant the thought in his mind that he needs to preempt the DM’s speculative moves against him.
Friday’s alleged incident where Prigozhin claimed that the DM bombed a Wagner base, which was vehemently denied by both his rivals and the FSB, could have possibly even been a false flag attack by Kiev from behind the Line Of Contact. This isn’t a far-fetched scenario since The Daily Beast reported earlier that same day that a Ukrainian “team said they had worked out a way to cut around the Russian drones’ thermal imaging” in order to sneak hundreds of meters behind the front line undetected.
Of course, it could also be that Prigozhin entirely fabricated the video about this that Wagner shared on social media, but nobody can know for certain until his coup attempt ends and the full truth comes out. In any case, the point is that the role of foreign intelligence agencies in orchestrating the latest unrest in Russia might only have been indirect, which is why it’s premature at the time of this analysis’ publication to confidently claim that Prigozhin is consciously operating as a foreign agent.
It doesn’t take away from the fact that he committed treason even if he was manipulated into doing so, however, since he’s responsible for his own actions no matter what he convinced himself of for whatever his reason may have been. What Prigozhin just did recklessly risks Russia snatching defeat from the jaws of victory if this ultimately undermines its present advantage in the “race of logistics” with NATO, which could reverse its on-the-ground gains in the worst-case scenario and thus endanger its national security.