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Ukraine War: Wagner Group Rebellion

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In just 24 hours, the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, staged an insurrection, sending troops into the southern city of Rostov and then towards Moscow.

These actions took place from June 23 and 24 of 2023.

The rebellion may have been brief, but it has highlighted the Russian Federation’s massive weaknesses and Vladimir Putin’s regime.

The rebellion led by Yevgeny Prigozhin never had any real intention to dethrone President Vladimir Putin from power but mainly the means for Prigozhin to survive the power struggle taking place between himself and the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Kuzhugetovich Shoigu.

This dispute was due to the leader of Wagner’s accused defence Minister Shoigu withholding ammunition and military equipment to the soldiers numbering 40,000 men engaged in the battle for Bakhmut.

We also made accusations that the defence minister was embezzling funds and stealing money from the Russian people, which was very true is believed that Sergei Kuzhugetovich Shoigu stole an estimate between 1/3 of the Russian military defence budget that should have gone to equipping the Russian military and modernising its army.

Russia’s official 2022 military budget is expected to be 4.7 trillion Rubles ($75bn) or higher and about $84bn for 2023, 40% more than the initial military budget announced in 2021.

2022–2025, Russia plans to spend $600bn on the military and the police. Naturally, the leader of Wagner accused the Minister of Defence for the Russian Federation of stealing from the Russian people and the military.

In retaliation, Shoigu tried to discredit Yevgeny Prigozhin by ensuring they suffered heavy losses and a military defeat by withholding his ability to wage war on Ukraine.

devastated bus stop in town after bomb explosion  Ukraine War: Wagner Group Rebellion
Photo by Алесь Усцінаў on

Power in Russia

Russia has never been a democracy.

They have been a czardom, communist-run state, run by a cult of personality or held together by military rule, such as during the rule of the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1990.

What this means for the Russian Federation is that it is held together or can be held together by two models: a model governed by the military or how Russia was ruled under a cult of personality being governed by whoever can build an internal coalition that can hold the nation together.

What this tells us about Vladimir Putin is that he governs through a select group of individuals that, like the old emperor/czar of Russia, rely on favourites and the inner circle established during his time in the political field in the city of St Petersburg which he became mayor of 1996.

What Wagner’s coup d’état highlights, without a doubt which has failed to be mentioned by mainstream news outlets, is that Vladimir Putin does not have support from the Russian military but only a support base which mainly comes from criminals and supporters he gained in the 1990s.

No Russian military personnel or even individual soldier tried to prevent Yevgeny Prigozhin’s march on the Kremlin, and the only reason he stopped was to lose his nerve and cut out a deal with Vladimir Putin so that it would survive.

The most significant takeaway from the Wagner group Rebellion is that Vladimir Putin doesn’t have military support in Russia to maintain his regime.

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Photo by Magnus Mueller on

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