There are NO media reporrts on the fighting between Ukraine and Russian forces….
The entire media coverage is on the Wagner/Russian conflict…..
The WashPost has a US Intel dump that says the US KNEW about Wagner boss Prigozhin getting ready to challenge the Russian Military leadership and Putin himself….
Prigozhuin had actually been signaling his intentions OUT LOUD for a while in the media…..
The exact nature and timing of Prigozhin’s plans were not clear until shortly before his stunning takeover of a military command and tank run toward Moscow on Friday and Saturday, officials said. But “there were enough signals to be able to tell the leadership … that something was up,” said one official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity citing the matter’s sensitivity. “So I think they were ready for it.”
Over the last two weeks there was “high concern” about what might transpire — whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would remain in power and what any instability might mean for control of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, the official said. “There were lots of questions along those lines,” this person said.
The instability that might result from a Russian “civil war” was the key fear, officials said. In addition to the White House, senior officials at the Pentagon, State Department and in Congress were briefed within the last two weeks on the intelligence, officials said.
A key trigger for Prigozhin, officials said, was a June 10 Russian Defense Ministry order that all volunteer detachments would have to sign contracts with the government. Though the order did not mention Wagner by name, the implication was clear: a takeover of Prigozhin’s mercenary troops, who have proved essential to Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine and have helped secure some of its most notable tactical victories.
Ukrainian military officials also were watching Prigozhin after the June 10 announcement and increasingly believed that he might mobilize his forces against Moscow, said a senior Ukrainian official. Prigozhin had publicly protested the defense ministry’s order, and Ukrainian officials took seriously the possibility that he might move against Russian positions, this person said….
A Analytic analytic look at the implications of the Wagner leaders chess moves in the last 48 hours….
For more than a year, American officials have quietly asked themselves a question they would not dare pose in public: Could Russia’s botched invasion of Ukraine eventually lead to the downfall of President Vladimir V. Putin?
For a few chaotic, head-snapping hours this weekend, the notion did not seem so far-fetched. But even with the apparent end to the immediate threat posed by Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rebellious mercenary army, the short-lived uprising suggested that Mr. Putin’s hold on power is more tenuous than at any time since he took office more than two decades ago.
The aftermath of the mutiny leaves President Biden and American policymakers with both opportunity and danger in perhaps the most volatile moment since the early days of the invasion of Ukraine. Disarray in Russia could lead to a breakdown of its war effort just as Ukrainian forces are mounting their long-awaited counteroffensive, but officials in Washington remained nervous about an unpredictable, nuclear-armed Mr. Putin feeling vulnerable.
“For the U.S., it’s advantageous in that the Russians are distracted and this will weaken their military effort in Ukraine and make them less likely to continue to instigate new problems in places like Syria,” said Evelyn N. Farkas, executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership and a former Pentagon official. “The main thing we care about is making sure that professional military remains in control of all of the nuclear facilities.”
The armed standoff on the road to Moscow, brief as it was, represented the most dramatic struggle for power in Russia since the 1991 failed hard-liner coup against Mikhail Gorbachev and the 1993 showdown between Boris Yeltsin and parliament. Unlike those episodes, however, Washington did not have a favorite in the struggle. Mr. Prigozhin is no more a friend of the United States than Mr. Putin….
Any way they looked at it, American officials saw the events on the ground as proof of Mr. Putin’s eroding position. For months, they have been monitoring Mr. Prigozhin’s escalating feud with the leadership of the Defense Ministry over the management of the Ukraine war, wondering as others have why Mr. Putin tolerated such open dissent and speculating about whether the Russian president was secretly encouraging it for his own political purposes….
The Wagner Group mercenary organization led by Mr. Prigozhin had been seen as the most effective Russian force on the battlefield, but with its charismatic leader heading to seeming exile in Belarus and its troops being absorbed by the Russian Defense Ministry, it may no longer be the ferocious fighting unit that it has been.
Unfortunately for Ukraine, the Prigozhin rebellion ended before major Russian forces were pulled off the front lines to protect Moscow, according to American information. But United States officials anticipate that the discord will fuel doubts already plaguing Russian troops about the point of the war and the competence of their leadership. And few believe that Mr. Prigozhin is a spent force who will simply go back to selling hot dogs, as he did as a young man. American officials expect that he still has cards to play…..