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Ukraine War: Wagner’s fading thrust


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Apparently this also happened last year, but that was a Ukrainian drone hitting a Russian drone on the ground in storage. This is one finishing off a Russian drone already damaged in combat.

 

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Posted (edited)

What's up with the poot and his many, varied forces -- showering men with the guns with shyte loads of money is one of the biggest.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/04/world/europe/russia-putin-prigozhin.html

Conclusion, after long, detailed description of how he's still firmly in charge and successfully protected from assassination:

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.... And the Russian leader has telegraphed confidence in Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu, whose ouster Mr. Prigozhin had long demanded for problems on the battlefield, but who has worked for Mr. Putin ever since the president first took office in 1999. Mr. Shoigu spoke publicly about the rebellion for the first time on Monday in remarks carried by Russian state media, declaring: “These plans have failed because, above all, the personnel of the armed forces have stayed true to their covenant and military duty.”

But rewarding the military and security services with more money and power carries its own risks. Mr. Golosov, the St. Petersburg political scientist, warned that other factions within them might be tempted to mount their own uprising, having witnessed Mr. Prigozhin’s ability to launch one.

“It’s quite possible that, looking at how the Prigozhin mutiny developed, some other players in the security services will see this as, let’s say, a more plausible course of action for themselves than they did before the Prigozhin experience,” Mr. Golosov said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, analysts say, will act as a further destabilizing force. It was the battlefield role of Mr. Prigozhin’s Wagner mercenary force that apparently prompted Mr. Putin to overlook the warlord’s criticism of the war effort. Now, the Kremlin may face the challenge of waging war in Ukraine without parts of Wagner — and maintaining the balance in an increasingly fragile system.

It is a system that arose in peacetime, prioritizing loyalty over effectiveness, said Nikolay Petrov, a guest scholar at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. But in war, the Kremlin needs both — and it is struggling to find players who are both effective and loyal, as the example of Mr. Prigozhin showed. That raises the possibility that Mr. Putin’s renewed emphasis on loyalty in the aftermath of the mutiny could affect Russia’s battlefield performance.

“Putin and his whole system now face a dilemma,” Mr. Petrov said. “If you keep the principle of loyalty as more important than effectiveness, then there won’t be the risks that were associated with the mutiny. But there won’t be any hope for a more effective functioning of the system, either.”

 

 

Edited by Zorral
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Posted (edited)

"They're ancient, like mammoth's crap!"

Also, some reports that Russia has withdrawn from Klischiivka. If true, that means that Ukraine has retaken much of the southern arc around Bakhmut, and puts most of the city in Ukrainian artillery range.

Edited by Werthead
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Reports from both Ukraine and Russian officials saying an attack or something meant to look like an attack on the zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is imminent, possibly coming tonight. Ukraine is saying that the Russians are planting devices on two towers at the top that would make it look like artillery hits.

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10 minutes ago, Kalnak the Magnificent said:

Reports from both Ukraine and Russian officials saying an attack or something meant to look like an attack on the zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is imminent, possibly coming tonight. Ukraine is saying that the Russians are planting devices on two towers at the top that would make it look like artillery hits.

NPR reported on ATC that the IAEA officials at the plant said no such devices are planted.

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35 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

NPR reported on ATC that the IAEA officials at the plant said no such devices are planted.

Well, there seems little point in planting such devices if the IAEA can spot it.  So, the question becomes is it possible to plant such devices without the IAEA spotting it. 

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The BBC's reporting is indicating that Ukrainian intelligence does not believe the goal is to actually crack the towers and release radiation, as that would adversely affect Russia as well, but to make it look like an attack has taken place, possibly justifying further escalation and action. Maybe more mobilisation, or maybe even trying to justify shutting the plant down or withdrawing Russian forces from the area (seems less likely).

This is a very dubious strategy, as the US is currently debating a law recognising a strike on Ukraine's nuclear facilities as an attempt to release radiation poisoning over Europe and NATO countries, and thus an Article 5 matter. Russia could very well trigger its own downfall (hell, maybe that's what it's trying to do, the "lost to NATO with honour" to save the disgrace of being beaten by Ukraine bullshit narrative some Russians have been advocating).

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Insanity to do even non-critical false flag damage to a nuclear power plant. I'm still inclined to think the destruction of the dam on the Dnipro was a botched attempt to do only a small amount of damage. And if that kind of incompetence has been deployed to do only minor damage to a nuclear power plant there is a significant risk of a radiation leak.

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Nah, the dam was deliberate.

It freed Russian troops to be redeployed (short term).

 

That's sorta the standard operating procedure for this special military operation. Come up with a solution that deals with immediate problems, but creates even bigger headaches down the line.

Like holding those fake referendums in the occupied regions to be able to deploy the mobiks there, to make up for the number of dead personnel, but effectively taking away one off-ramp. 

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I could believe that the dam was an accident, after trying to blow a small hole, because it was so badly timed. It is an advantage that can only be used once and the Russians were definitely premature with it.

However I think more likely it was deliberate although more of a threat than a purely military move. They are demonstrating they are prepared to be completely ruthless and psychopathic after nearly endless empty bluster throughout the war. 

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Lukashenko Says Prigozhin Is in Russia, Not Belarus

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2023/07/06/world/russia-ukraine-news

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MINSK, Belarus — The mercenary leader Yevgeny V. Prigozhin is in Russia, the leader of Belarus said on Thursday, adding to the questions swirling around Mr. Prigozhin’s fate nearly two weeks after he called off his stunning armed rebellion against Moscow’s military leadership.

In a rare interview session with reporters at Independence Palace, President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus said that Mr. Prigozhin was in the Russian city of St. Petersburg as of Thursday morning, in contrast with statements he made days after the mutiny, when he said that the head of the Wagner paramilitary forces had arrived in Belarus. None of Mr. Lukashenko’s claims could be verified, and Mr. Prigozhin has not been seen in public since the rebellion nearly two weeks ago.

Mr. Prigozhin was “not on the territory of Belarus,” Mr. Lukashenko said, and nor were Wagner troops, who he said remained in their “permanent camps,” believed to be in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine.

The comments did little to clarify the details surrounding the aftermath of the most dramatic challenge to President Vladimir V. Putin’s authority in his 23 years in power. The Kremlin refused to comment on Mr. Lukashenko’s claims, telling reporters on Thursday that it was unaware of Mr. Prigozhin’s whereabouts.

“We don’t follow his movements. We have neither the ability nor the desire to do so,” said Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman.

Mr. Lukashenko also signaled that at least some of Wagner’s fighting force — which was instrumental in Russia’s capture of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut this spring — could stay intact. He called the group Russia’s “most powerful unit,” although he said that “the main question of where Wagner will be deployed and what will it do — it doesn’t depend on me; it depends on the leadership of Russia.”

The Belarusian autocrat intervened late last month in the armed mutiny led by Mr. Prigozhin, striking a deal with the Wagner leader that saw him stand down and withdraw his forces in exchange for amnesty for his fighters, and safe passage to Belarus for himself.

Mr. Lukashenko said that he had spoken to Mr. Prigozhin on Wednesday, and that Wagner would continue to “fulfill its duties to Russia for as long as it can.” He said Mr. Prigozhin was “a free man, but what will happen later, I don’t know.”

He said he did not expect that Mr. Putin would seek immediate vengeance for the failed mutiny. “If you think that Putin is so malicious and vindictive that he will ‘kill’ Prigozhin tomorrow — no, this will not happen,” he said.

Mr. Lukashenko previously said that he had offered Wagner fighters an “abandoned” military base, and satellite images verified by The New York Times last week showed new temporary structures being built at a deserted base about 80 miles from Minsk, the Belarusian capital. But on Thursday, Mr. Lukashenko appeared less definitive about the possible presence of Wagner troops in Belarus.

“Whether they will come here, and if so, how many of them will come, we will decide in the future,” he said.

Mr. Lukashenko said any Wagner units in Belarus could be called upon to defend the country, and that the group’s agreement to fight for Belarus in the event of a war was the main condition for granting it permission to relocate to the country.

“If we must activate this unit for the defense of the nation, then it will be immediately activated,” he said. “And their experience will be in high demand.”

After the rebellion in Russia late last month, Mr. Lukashenko positioned himself as a power broker who had helped avert a crisis, even as he has become increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. Viewed by the West as a subordinate under the Kremlin’s control, Mr. Lukashenko appears to be trying to burnish his image as a key player in resolving one of the biggest crises of Mr. Putin’s tenure as Russia’s leader.

By granting an interview session with a small group of reporters at his presidential palace on Thursday, Mr. Lukashenko may be hoping to establish a measure of independence from his benefactors in Moscow, while possibly getting a boost at home, with an electorate more interested in peace than joining Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Anatoly Kurmanaev and Ivan Nechepurenko contributed reporting.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

I did see reports yesterday that Prigozhin went to St. Petersburg to retrieve personal firearms that the FSB had confiscated. 

For his sake, I hope they’re being stored in a basement or ground floor

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I may have heard dumber things than someone pissing off Vladimir Putin and then nipping off to St Petersburg to collect personal belongings. But I can't think of them right now.

If Prigozhin is in St Petersburg, I have to imagine it's in an unlit room with good soundproofing.

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19 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

For his sake, I hope they’re being stored in a basement or ground floor

If this was Saudi Arabia, he'd be in little coolers already.

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37 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

I did see reports yesterday that Prigozhin went to St. Petersburg to retrieve personal firearms that the FSB had confiscated. 

Ya, I posted that here too.

In the meantime, Wagner in Africa:

‘It is like a virus that spreads’: business as usual for Wagner group’s extensive Africa network
Despite Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rebellion against the Kremlin, his military contracts are proving too profitable to lose

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/06/putin-wagner-africa-business-yevgeny-prigozhin-kremlin

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.... Speculation has been rife on social media accounts used by Wagner fighters in Mali, CAR and elsewhere that the group’s employees would be offered new contracts with the Russian state.

However, any process of “nationalisation” could lead to tensions, analysts said. Alia Brahimi, an expert on mercenaries at the Atlantic Council, said: “In theory, this should be quite straightforward, given the Wagner group’s origins as the Kremlin’s creature. But the commanders who ran the day to day in Africa, like [Ivan] Maslov in Mali who’s been personally sanctioned, were elevated by Prigozhin.
“They will have to reconcile the personal debt they owe to Prigozhin and their tribal identity as private operatives rather than public soldiers with more centralised Kremlin control,” he added.

“From the Kremlin’s side, the whole point and draw of letting Wagner off the leash in Africa was that they were a deniable force. Now the horrific crimes and abuses, as well as the economic predation, will have a clear return address.” ....

 

One might assume that turning over the Wagner African enterprises run by Prigozhin to Russian-Russian running of things may entail more than only no longer possessing deniability for the atrocities the Russians are committing on the continent. As in Russia itself when they run things, a nearly complete proceeds are diverted into 'private' pockets, not into the Russian government and military accounts. If they aren't able/willing/capable of supplying the Ukranian invasion forces with the modern and proper military armament and support, how much less they shall  do so in places so far away as African countries.

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