Like, I suppose, most people in the world, I’m still trying to make sense of what happened in Russia over the weekend. But what information I’ve been able to gather this morning tells me that this ended very much as a draw. Prigozhin doesn’t seem to be slinking off into obscurity or through a helpfully open window, though the latter could certainly happen at any moment. In fact, he released a message today in which he continued to make the case for his one-day mutiny and actually in a way upped the ante.
In today’s message he played up the speed and organization of Wagner’s drive both to Rostov and Moscow and said, paraphrasing, wouldn’t it have been great if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had been handled that well? We could have wrapped the place up in a week.
It remains simply remarkable that this guy launched what can fairly be seen as a Caesar-like invasion of his own country and is not only still alive but actually on social media explaining how it was actually completely awesome.
Even as an outsider to Russian politics it’s very hard to see how this isn’t a pretty big problem for Putin’s rule. It is also striking to me how little we’ve seen of Putin. For someone who’s rule has been rooted so greatly in heroic imagery of his physical person, I find it surprising he would remain so relatively invisible at such a moment.