Discover more from Andrew Korybko's Newsletter
Westerners Cheering For Prigozhin Want Another World War
Russia’s “Balkanization” via “civil war” is a political fantasy that many Westerners on social media enjoy indulging in, but what they don’t realize is that cheering for Prigozhin actually amounts to cheering for another world war.
Prigozhin’s attempted coup has led to the curious reaction of many Westerners cheering for his success, which is ironic since one of the reasons why his forces are marching on Moscow is to escalate Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine. President Putin, by contrast, strongly suggested earlier this month that he’s interested in politically resolving the NATO-Russian proxy war if his country’s security is ensured. The following two analyses should bring readers up to speed about the context in which this is all unfolding:
In brief, they point out that the military-strategic dynamics of this conflict have radically shifted so much over the past week after the failure of Kiev’s NATO-backed counteroffensive that Russia can now leverage its leading edge in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” to revive peace talks if the US is interested. Prigozhin’s attempted coup therefore came at the worst possible time since it risks reversing his country’s on-the-ground and political progress in finally ending this proxy war.
Misguided Westerners might think that cheering him on signals support for destabilizing Russia from within, but the reality is that they’re actually supporting another world war if they get what they want, which is extremely unlikely in any case. For the sake of discussion, the ultra-fringe scenario of Prigozhin successfully pulling off his attempted coup would almost certainly lead to the withdrawal of President Putin’s implied olive branch to the US and the consequent escalation of Russia’s special operation.
Although their country presently retains the edge in its “race of logistics” with NATO, that bloc isn’t expected to let Ukraine collapse and subsequently fall in full under Russia’s “sphere of influence” in the event that Moscow achieves total victory in this conflict. Rather, it’s much more probable that Poland would lead a formal NATO intervention into that then-crumbling former Soviet Republic out of desperation to freeze the front lines, which could result in a dangerous standoff with Russia.
That would spike the chances of another world war by miscalculation, hence why it should be avoided at all costs. Likewise, the other side of the scenario coin is that Prigozhin’s attempted coup destabilizes Russia to the point of undermining its lead in the “race of logistics” and eventually catalyzing a reversal of its on-the-ground gains over these past 16 months. The national security implications of that happening could see Russia being forced to employ nuclear weapons as a last resort out of self-defense.
Either way, nothing good is likely to come out of the latest events. Prigozhin’s odds of succeeding are nil without support from the most powerful members of the military-intelligence elite, who have all rallied around President Putin in the 18 hours since the attempted coup was launched. Russia’s “Balkanization” via “civil war” is a political fantasy that many Westerners on social media enjoy indulging in, but what they don’t realize is that cheering for Prigozhin actually amounts to cheering for another world war.