In a stunning turn of events, the recent coup allegedly staged by the Wagner Group in Russia has raised eyebrows and sparked intense speculation. Rumours swirled that the coup was an anti-Putin move, but emerging evidence suggests that it may have been Putin’s brainchild all along.
Initial rumours of a power struggle between Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group, suggested that the coup was an attempt to topple Putin’s government. Others questioned whether Putin and Prigozhin were ever rivals in the first place, while some said the coup was just a farce.
But evidence suggests otherwise. The coup was part of Putin’s calculated plan to rid himself of a faction within the Russian military ahead of next year’s elections. By orchestrating this drama, Putin aimed to exert greater control over the army and solidify his position as the supreme authority.
Putin’s Puppet Show
Recent events suggest that Putin’s plan to reform the defence ministry is taking shape. There have been rumours of significant changes in the Russian Ministry of Defense’s management, including the ouster of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Army Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov. These negotiations also reportedly included ensuring the “security of the Wagner Group.”
According to reports, a senior Russian officer was detained for knowing about the weekend uprising of Yevgeny Prigozhin, CEO of the Wagner Group.
Because of his extreme strategies in the Syrian conflict, General Sergei Surovikin earned the moniker “General Armageddon” in the Russian media. He has been missing since his troops started an armed uprising on Saturday.
Apart from Mr Surovikin, another top general Valery Gerasimov, has been away from public view since the mutiny.
A “purge” was reportedly under progress, according to Rybar, a well-known Telegram channel managed by a former press officer for the Russian defence ministry.
From drama to Reality
In light of certain allegations that some members of the armed services appear to have done nothing to halt Wagner fighters in the early stages of the insurrection, he claimed that the authorities were attempting to “weed out” military personnel seen to have displayed “a lack of decisiveness” in putting down the mutiny.
The power struggle between the Kremlin and Prigozhin has placed The Wagner Group in the middle of it. Moscow has taken action to contain the organisation while acknowledging its importance in Ukraine and attempting to tighten control over its operations.
Tensions escalated when Prigozhin publicly accused Defense Minister Shoigu of undermining his fighters and fabricating lies to justify the invasion of Ukraine. In a fiery rant on Telegram, Prigozhin called for armed mutiny, aiming to confront the perceived “evil” within the top brass of the Kremlin, without directly targeting Putin himself.
As this event plays out, it becomes increasingly obvious that Putin has been engaged in a complex game of chess. He had the chance to crush resistance inside the military and further entrench his power thanks to the coup, whether it was real or contrived. Putin’s political skill is evident in his ability to steer clear of these troubled waters while keeping a tight hold on power.