While the unfortunate events, expressed in the war in Ukraine, stagnated into almost a standstill, the only new development worth noting that caught my attention is the story of the It’s Pennywise lookalike, Prigozhin.
Having grinded his forces to the bone, he is now fully engaged in the next step of his grand plan — the switch into politics. He held meetings with his moral equal, the irreplaceable president of the Chechen Republic, as well as with general Surovikin. Prigozhin and the freedom-fighter Kadyrov have become the most publicly visible critics of the Geppetto’s-run MoD. Surovikin has much less freedom of speech due to his position as an active general, but it seems he is not one of the Shoigu’s loyalists, due to his appointment to head the Kherson retreat, after which the command in UA was taken from him by the Geppetto’s right-hand-man, general Gerasimov.
Soon after the meeting with topics undisclosed, the second break-up in Wagner-MoD relationship started. This time, Pennywise not only crying crocodile tears for the ammo shortages (specifically directed against him, as he implies), but also threatens to withdraw Wagner Group from Bakhmut/Artemovsk, which should bring the collapse of Russian Army at that area. This is a publicly held play (a farcical tragedy), in which the two main characters are Geppetto and Pennywise. It is intended to farther lower the public opinion of Geppetto (which is already all but shuttered). The public opinion then should swing towards the Pennywise and his close buddy, the Chechen freedom-fighter president.
Thus, the play started on the battlefield, but its main act will be taken place in Russian politics. I don’t know if this was sanctioned by the only and irreplaceable saint Rasputin, or is he just keeping out of this fight. At any rate, not taking sides aka “divide and conquer” is his signature modus vivendi. The winners would be allowed to kiss his sacred, old-man’s hand.
Less visible to the public, is the crystallization of a new rebellious and potentially revolutionary movement against the ruling elite (the “Club of infuriated patriots” is one example I know). This time it comes not from the top, from the people who already hold real power given to them by Rasputin’s clique, but from the “plebs”, whom the elite view as sacrificial lambs and other kinds of mute cattle. Maybe the abovementioned farcical tragedy is also intended to take people’s mind of the real threat to the throne — but I doubt Rasputin’s regime is capable for that kind of nuanced thinking.
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