The Prighozin File: Twilight of the Gods or Maskirovka? | war in ukraine
KILL THE HEAD OF THE SNAKE
The Prighozin File: Twilight of the Gods or Maskirovka?
May 7, 2023 by obsadmin Leave a Comment
PEPE ESCOBAR, EXPERT IN GEOPOLITICS
Perhaps Prigozhin's "Twilight of the Gods" scenario has forgotten that what the Kremlin really wants is to go after the serpent's head. Putin gave a hint more than a year ago: the interference of the collective West will lead to unknown consequences in your history... *
Yevgeny Prighozin, the head of the private military company Wagner, is never shy about also acting as a communicator/trolling/psyops specialist.
So it's no wonder that when he launched a recent rhetorical missile - (here, in Russian) - quite a few eyebrows were raised.
In the heat of war, and on the eve of the mythologized Ukrainian "counteroffensive" - which may or may not come in myriad suicidal ways - Prighozin set about attacking the Russian Defense Ministry, Minister Shoigu and the Kremlin bureaucracy.
The remarks caused shock waves among experts in Russia, but not among the Anglophone public, which seems not to have grasped the importance of this whole affair, as people inside Russia told me who analyzed the interview in detail. There is one noteworthy exception here, which focuses on the key points.
Prighozin flirts with some absurdities, offered without proof. For example: Russia did not win both wars in Chechnya; Putin paid a bribe to Kadyrov's father to mix everything up. Or the false claim that the Debaltsevo cauldron in Donbass did not exist, but that Poroshenko's army simply withdrew intact.
More serious still, are other accusations: the SMO demonstrated that the Russian Army is essentially disorganized, untrained, undisciplined and demoralized; there is no real leadership; and the Ministry of Defense routinely lies about what is happening on the battlefield, as well as about Wagner's manoeuvres.
Prighozin insists that it was Wagner who launched an operation to stabilize the front as the Russian army retreated in chaos after a Ukrainian counter-attack.
His main argument is that Russia has what it takes to win, quickly and decisively; but "leaders" divert resources away from the actors who need them (presumably the Wagner group).
And this links to the success in Bakhmut/Artemyovsk: the whole plan would have been devised by Wagner together with "General Armageddon" Surovikin.
"Kill me, that would be better than lying"
Prigozhin says he knows where enough military supplies are kept to fight another six months. Wagner needs at least 80,000 shells a day. The reason they do not receive them is "political sabotage".
Due to the Russian bureaucracy – from the Ministry of Defense to the FSB, no one is spared – the Russian army “has been transformed from the second best Army in the world to one of the worst: Russia cannot even cope with Ukraine. Russia's defenses will not hold if supplies are not delivered to the soldiers."
Prighozin ominously states that Wagner might have to withdraw unless they get supplies. He foresees that the Ukrainian counter-offensive is inevitable and sets a possible starting point on May 9, Victory Day.
Last Wednesday he doubled down: the Ukrainian counteroffensive has already begun, at Artyomovsk, with "unlimited personnel and ammunition" and threatens to overwhelm our undersupplied troops.
Prighozin proudly extols Wagner; his spies tell him that kyiv's forces might even reach the Russian borders. He also fiercely refutes accusations of fifth columnism: emphasizing the need to cut down on state propaganda, he asserts that "the Russian people have to know because they will have to pay in blood for these 'mistakes'." The bureaucrats will simply flee to the West. They are the ones who fear the truth.
His words seem made for history «I have no right to lie to people who will have to live in this country in the future. Kill me if you want, that would be better than lying. I refuse to lie. Russia is on the verge of a catastrophe. If we don't immediately tighten the loose bolts, this plane will disintegrate in mid-flight."
And he also makes a pretty decent geo-economic argument: why should Russia continue to sell oil to the West through India: “there is treason. Russia's elites are in secret negotiations with the Western elite." That turns out to be an argument consistently used by former Russian intelligence officer Igor Strelkov.
The "Angry Patriots Club"
There is no question: if Prighozin is essentially telling the truth, his words – literally – have enormous reach. Either Prighozin knows everything that almost everyone else does not know, or this is a spectacular maskirovka. (maskirovka: Russian military deception operation)
However, the facts on the ground since February 2002 could support his main accusation: the Russian military is unable to fight properly because of a corrupt bureaucratic gang at the top of the Defense Ministry. From Shoigu, everyone would only be interested in getting rich.
And in a rigidly bureaucratized environment, front-line commanders have no autonomy to make decisions and adapt quickly, and need to wait for orders from far away. That should be the main reason why kyiv's counter-offensive has chances to impose dramatic setbacks.
Prighozin is certainly not the only Russian patriot to make this kind of analysis. In fact, there is nothing new here: only this time it has been more forceful. The former intelligence officer Strelkov has been saying exactly the same thing since the beginning of the war. He even joined an "Angry Patriots Club" which posted an explosive video on April 19.
So here we have a small but very loud group with impeccable patriotic credentials sounding the alarm: Russia risks losing this war entirely unless drastic changes are made immediately.
Or, once again, this could be brilliant maskirovka – leaving the enemy totally disoriented.
If so, it's working like a charm. The Kiev propaganda outlets triumphantly embraced Strelkov's accusations with headlines such as "Russia on the brink of defeat, Strelkov threatens Kremlin with coup."
But, Strelkov has doubled down, insisting that the Russian state is not really serious about this war and plans to settle without actually fighting, even ceding territory in Ukraine.
His proof: according to Prighozin the corrupt Russian army command made no serious effort to prepare the economy, or public opinion, for an offensive (in training and logistics). And that is because the elites of the Kremlin and the army do not believe in this war, nor do they want it; they would prefer to return to the pre-war status quo.
Here we go again. Maskirovka? Or a kind of revenge of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) against Wagner? It is a fact that at the beginning of the GOS the Russian army did not exactly get its act together, they really needed Wagner on the ground. But now it's a different ballgame, and the MoD may be hell-bent on phasing out Wagner's role so that Prighozin's men don't hog all the glare of glory when Russia starts going for the jugular.
Drones fall on the Kremlin
And then, right in the middle of this incandescent confrontation, we have a pair of puny kamikaze drones burst into the Kremlin in the middle of the night.
This was not an attempt to assassinate Putin, but a cheap public relations stunt. Russian intelligence should have pieced together the whole story by now: the drones were probably launched from a neighborhood in Moscow or its suburbs, by Ukrainian attack cells in civilian clothes and with fake IDs.
There will be more such PR stunts: with car bombs and improvised land mine booby traps. Russia will have to intensify internal security until it reaches a real war situation.
But what about the "response" to a "terrorist attack" (in Kremlin terminology)?
Elena Panini of Russtrat.ru has offered a priceless and not hysterical assessment: "The target of the night attack, judging by the video footage, was not the Kremlin and not even the dome of the Senate Palace, but the flag pole." which is a duplicate of the banner of the President of the Russian Federation. This game of symbolism is typical of British intelligence signals. A kind of "reminder" from London on the eve of the coronation of Charles III that the conflict in Ukraine continues to develop according to the Anglo-Saxon scenario and within the framework established by them."
So yes: kyiv's neo-Nazi "poodles" are just tools. The orders that matter always come from Washington and London, especially when it comes to crossing red lines.
Panini argues that it is time for the Kremlin to take the ultimate strategic initiative. That should include elevating the SMO to real war status; declare Ukraine a terrorist state; and put into practice what is already being discussed in the Duma: the transition to the use of "weapons capable of stopping and destroying the terrorist regime in kyiv."
The petty double drone attack – a combined Anglo-Saxon neocon provocation – has offered Moscow the perfect gift: an unequivocal casus belli.
An "assassination attempt" on Putin combined with a campaign to sabotage the May 9 Victory Day parade? The events of the last few days have made it clear that only neoconservatives can come up with such ridiculous acts. So from now on his messenger, the sweaty-shirt-wearing warmonger actor, along with his oligarchic inner circle, are dead men walking.
But even that is ultimately irrelevant. Moscow could have designated Ukraine a terrorist state right after the Kerch bridge attack in October 2022. But then NATO would have had additional arguments to keep trying to expand.
Perhaps Prigozhin's Twilight of the Gods setting has forgotten that what the Kremlin really wants is to go after the serpent's head. Putin gave a serious hint, more than a year ago: the interference of the collective West would lead to "consequences such that you have not encountered in your history."
And that explains NATO's panic. Some in Washington with an IQ above room temperature may have seen through the fog: hence the provocations - including the Kremlin drone stunt - that would force Moscow to quickly end the "Special Military Operation" format. " (SAINT).
Oh no, that's not going to happen. For Moscow, the state of affairs is stupendous; the blows to NATO's arms depots and finances are plunging the West into a black hole. The Kremlin nonchalantly states that yes, we will respond, but when we see fit. That, dear Comrade Prighozin, is the ultimate maskirovka.
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