Discover more from Edward Slavsquat
EDWARD ORDERS FULL BLOG MOBILIZATION
Buckle up, buttercup
If you just woke up, or haven’t been glued to your electronic device (good for you, by the way), there have been some interesting “developments” in Russia.
But basically, here’s what’s going on: Prigozhin has gone full-blown dark clown mode, Wagner is now fully (or mostly) in control of Rostov, and is also reportedly zooming around Voronezh. Voronezh, by the way, is roughly halfway between Rostov and Moscow.
Prigozhin claims he’s going after Shoigu and Gerasimov. But this “objective” may have changed, especially after Putin ordered security forces to quell this PMC insurrection.
You can read the transcript of Putin’s speech here. Probably every word is important, but here’s the really important bit:
The Armed Forces and other government agencies have received the necessary orders, and additional anti-terrorist measures are being introduced in Moscow, the Moscow region, and a number of other regions. Decisive action will also be taken to stabilize the situation in Rostov-on-Don. It remains complex, with the work of the civilian and military authorities effectively blocked.
To summarize: Putin acknowledges Rostov is not under the control of the Russian military, and he doesn’t like that very much, and Russian security forces have been instructed to “stabilize” the situation there.
Or in layman’s terms: THINGS ARE GETTING VERY WEIRD.
I would strongly discourage my readers from dismissing what is occurring right now as inconsequential, or a nothingburger. It’s a big fat something-burger—and we will know more about what this burger contains in the coming hours and days.
There are obviously many different angles to this weirdness worth exploring. I do not have all the answers—no one does.
However, I would like to point out that I’ve been warning about the possibility of this kind of scenario.
Here’s what I wrote in my Q&A from June 12:
The Prigozhin-Shoigu feud (which is now impossible to ignore or dismiss) is basically the only reason you need to scoff at the notion that the “Russian political system” is a well-oiled, sleek and streamlined machine, absent of bitter rivalries, competing interests, and vicious factional in-fighting. […]
Prigozhin’s main grievances against the MOD—which I think can be summarized as “unrepentant incompetence”—have been echoed by patriotic, pro-military hardliners in Russia, basically since the start of the SMO.
A lot of these guys have first-hand experience in Donbass fighting in various militias, and have no affiliation with Wagner. Which means that if you think Prigozhin’s outbursts are maskirovka, then you must believe that dozens of Russian military veterans and “milbloggers” are also “playing along”. This is unlikely, in my humble opinion.
That being said, it’s obvious Prigozhin has some very powerful sponsors, probably inside the Presidential Administration. So I don’t think it’s accurate to portray him as a true renegade—he clearly represents the interests of a powerful faction within Russia’s current ruling elite. Is this faction preferable to Shoigu’s (obviously deeply troubled) MOD? Maybe. Or maybe this will all lead to more pointless death and destruction. Time will tell.
There is clearly some kind of power struggle going on at the highest levels, although I don’t feel comfortable speculating on what is really happening behind the scenes, for the simple reason that I don’t think anyone knows.
But to pretend Prigozhin, Shoigu, and Kadyrov are one big happy family, sneakily creating the illusion of deep internal divisions, in order to misdirect NAFO shills on Twitter, is just…I have no words.
No matter what your views may be about Prigozhin and Wagner, one must admit that it’s highly weird that there’s a private army operating in Ukraine, which is in open conflict with the Russian military’s top brass. Somehow this bizarre state of affairs became completely normal. Is it normal, though?
More recently, on June 17, I wrote:
It should also be pointed out that the “don’t worry, the other side will collapse” theory [about how the war in Ukraine could end] is also applicable to Russia—although I would just like to stress that I am in no way suggesting it is the most likely outcome. But it’s a possibility that can’t be discounted.
Actually, Strelkov has repeatedly warned about a potential “1917 scenario” taking shape in Russia. What he means by this is that incompetence and feuding among Russia’s upper-management could have catastrophic consequences for Russia’s war effort, and this would inevitably plunge the country into a deep political crisis.
I don’t think it’s necessary to explain why Strelkov thinks this is possible. If you think such a scenario is absolutely impossible, I am envious of your confidence.
Anyway, my point is not that we should prepare ourselves for the inevitable outbreak of (another) Russian Civil War. Rather, I just wanted to point out that there are a number of authoritative, patriotic voices inside Russia who believe the possibility of a “collapse” scenario is not exclusive to Ukraine. Just something to keep in mind.
Just to be very clear: It’s too soon to say that we are witnessing the opening salvo of a civil war. Who knows? Maybe this will all be over by the end of the day. But it could certainly lead to a protracted internal conflict, and to deny this fact seems highly irresponsible.
I don’t trust any of the “main players” involved here. None of them. Not a single one. Prigozhin has many legitimate grievances (which have been expressed by many prominent pro-military hardliners, patriots, veterans, Donbass militia members, etc.), but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have ulterior motives. And I continue to insist he very likely has allies in very high places—which makes this “insurrection” even more dangerous, and real.
On the other hand, I have no love for Shoigu, and to be perfectly honest I have no idea what Putin is doing—even if he is well-meaning, and genuinely wants the best for Russia.
But this is why you should definitely tune in to Edward Slavsquat every day, because I don’t really have a “favorite” in this insane fight. I’m just here to document what the heck is happening, to the best of my abilities.
Which brings me to the main point of this blog post. It’s more of an announcement than a point, actually.
EDWARD ISSUES EMERGENCY FULL BLOG MOBILIZATION DECREE
I had all sorts of fun blog posts lined up for the next week or two, but I think they will have to be shelved for the time being. The Not-War has returned home, and since this blog is supposed to document important domestic issues in Russia, well … do I even need to finish this sentence?
I don’t plan on pumping out 3-4 blog posts per day, highlighting various Updates. I don’t think this is a wise approach. BREAKING NEWS can often become irrelevant in a matter of hours, and sometimes even “confirmed” reports are dead-wrong.
But there will probably be one blog post each day, trying to provide useful insights, and maybe even information that has been ignored in Western alternative media.
I will not be able to cover everything—because this is a blog, staffed by a single manlet—but I will try my hardest to relay what I believe to be the most relevant, pertinent information about what is happening in Russia right now.
I ALSO STRONGLY ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO TAKE REGULAR BREAKS FROM THE INTERNET, AND TO GO OUTSIDE, AND LISTEN TO NICE MUSIC (I RECCOMEND JS BACH). REMEMBER THAT WHATEVER HAPPENS, WE ARE STILL PROLES TRYING TO FIND OUR WAY IN THIS INCREASINGLY WEIRD WORLD.
Your readership is much appreciated. There will be many different sources for you to consult. Please do consult them. But don’t forget about lil ol’ me!
As always, I encourage my lovely commenters to share relevant links, thoughts, theories, and so forth. This blog is a safe space for anyone who wants to talk about Russia in an open way, with open-minded people. Please be polite and constructive, though.
Until tomorrow (unless something truly insane happens),
Thank you for reading. If you value the services this blog provides, consider joining the Paid Sub Club! $38 for a 12-month subscription—the bargain of a lifetime!