The Prigozhin Convoy: ‘Everything Changes; Everything Remains the Same’

This is huge. It is not just that the Prigozhin insurrection was ‘taken seriously’ by the West. It was its’ ‘last Hail Mary’ in respect to Russia.

“Everything must change for everything to remain the same”, is the famous quotation pronounced by Tancredi, Prince Salina’s nephew, in the Sicilian novel The Leopard.

In Russia – like Sicily – everything has changed; at least, thus say the Western commentators. ‘Systemic cracks in Moscow have opened’, yet everything in Russia remains the same.

Prigozhin moves to Belarus to build a Wagner off-shoot that can defend the Belarus southern border, and position itself adjacent to Kiev; the Wagner cadre is absolved of mutiny and, with a tweak to its legal status, largely continues ‘business as usual’.

Whilst Putin roundly condemned the “mutiny plotters” as people full of ‘malignity and evil intentions’, he did not identify these plotters with “the majority of Wagner Group soldiers and commanders” — who Putin insisted, “are also Russian patriots, loyal to their people and their state”.

Putin was, however, less generous, when treating the “the enemies of Russia – the neo-Nazis in Kiev, their Western patrons and other national traitors” who would have benefitted, had the coup succeeded: “They miscalculated” (implying clearly, they had ‘calculated’ aforehand.)

Perhaps, he had something like this in mind – as The GrayZone reported in the US:

“Expecting a bloodbath and seismic political upheaval, corporate networks like CNN had budgeted wall-to-wall coverage of the ‘coup that wasn’t’ – filling cable news ‘green rooms’ with rent-a-generals, K Street think-tankers, and war-hungry former diplomatic corps hacks: For just over 12 hours, everyone from former ambassador McFaul, to Zelensky to neocon pundit, Anne Applebaum, exploded with seemingly libidinal excitement about a supposed “civil war” that was certain to feature “Russians … killing Russians”, along with “lots of casualties” – and Putin “probably hiding somewhere”.


“On Saturday afternoon however, news broke across the US that Prigozhin had struck a deal with President Lukashenko – to end his protest and go into exile. Thus ended a largely bloodless affair that ultimately saw fewer documented deaths than the 6th January, ‘Capitol Riot’”.

Was there more to this affair than meets the eye? The head of the Russian National Guard, Gen. Viktor Zolotov, speaking after President Putin on Friday, seemed to think so: He noted with “certainty” that Prigozhin’s mutiny “was inspired by Western special services – whose foreign ‘inspiration’ had become overlaid by Prigozhin’s own inflated ambitions”.

General Zolotov only said that whether Western agents may, or may not, have been directly involved in conducting the operation is being fully investigated. No doubt, ‘uncle’ Lukashenko from Minsk, will get the truth from Prigozhin, his friend of twenty years standing.

Yet, whether fuelled by Western inspiration or inflated ambition, Prigozhin’s insurrection faded within hours. No support was forthcoming either from the political class, or from within the military. The Russian military action along the defensive lines in Donbass remained wholly unaffected. (If there were any pro-western, Russian ‘Fifth Columnists’ in league with, and ready to support the insurrection, this has not been disclosed. There is little evidence of such).

Prigozhin himself avowed on Monday that his short-lived mutiny never had been intended to overthrow Russia’s government, but had been launched merely to register ‘a protest’ over what he said was its ‘ineffectual conduct’ of the war in Ukraine.

We can have some assurance however, that the ‘mutiny’ was taken much more seriously than subsequently claimed by the West, because it is plain that the Western MSM had been briefed — ‘nudge-nudge’ — that an ‘earthquake’ was about to erupt in Russia. And the Ukrainians say they had been told by British and US officials to ‘hold their fire’ for the time being.

The NY Times reported too, that Joe Biden and the ‘Gang of Eight’ Congressional leaders (who, must by law and only under ‘extraordinary circumstances’ (when the President thinks “it is essential to limit access” to information about a covert action, 50 U.S.C. § 3093(c)(2))) were briefed as early as Wednesday.

The Biden White House now, however, is spinning that that ‘Western officials’ were “taken by surprise”. Secretary Blinken issued an urgent cable on Friday night [June 23], telling officials around the globe not to speak about the Prigozhin ‘mutiny’.

The impression among those who received the directive, wrote Axios, was that “the unusual cable … showed the level of alarm in the Biden administration …”.

Everything Changes’ — the West was betting heavily on the change that the dismemberment of Russia would portend, but after the Wagner convoy halted 100 km short of Moscow, ‘everything reverted to the same’.  Wagner men have something of a legendary status in Russia — Russians generally support both Wagner and the regular State forces. They were not confronted. Reportedly messages on Friday from external Telegram channels urged Muscovites to take to the streets in protest against the government. But Russians rather, preferred to support Russia — even the Communists joined in.

The Western media and ‘experts’ however, are spinning hard that everything did change: That cracks had emerged; that some of the officer cadres, the US says, may have supported the insurrection; and that Prigozhin had “captured” a main city in Russia: Rostov-on-Don.

This is all untrue. Prigozhin sauntered into Rostov — walked to the military HQ — and was filmed chatting on the balcony with a number of generals there. Citizens generally milled around, unconcerned (many videos are online).

This is huge. It is not just that the Prigozhin insurrection was ‘taken seriously’ by the West. It was its’ ‘last Hail Mary’ in respect to Russia. After the failure of its ‘financial war’; the failure of its attempt to drive a wedge between Moscow and Beijing; its failure to coerce the Rest of the World to join sanctioning Russia; and then, the unexpected failure of the Ukrainian ‘offensive’ to make a make breakthrough against the Russian defensive lines, fomenting chaos in Russia became the ‘last chance of last chances’.

What will the Biden ‘camp’ do now? Many questions that no one wants to pose; few answers. The attempt to spin a 12-hour, failed coup as somehow a Western ‘win’ however, will possess but a momentary shelf-life.

0 thoughts on “The Prigozhin Convoy: ‘Everything Changes; Everything Remains the Same’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *