Monday, June 26, 2023

Prigozhin Revolt hasn't Led to Collapse of State, Skobov Says; It Only Showed That Such a Collapse had Already Taken Place

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 25 – Some are suggesting that Prigozhin’s revolt sparked the collapse of the Russian state, but that is incorrect, Aleksandr Skobov says. His action only threw into sharp relief that the collapse of Russian statehood and any legal order there had already happened and that the country is run by “a conglomerate of bandit groups.”

            The most dangerous of these, of course, the Russian commentator says, is not that of Prigozhin but that of Vladimir Putin, which consists of “a clique of geopolitical maniacs” who want to conquer the territories of others and are prepared to threaten and possibly even launch a nuclear war (

            Prigozhin’s PMC is another, albeit less significant one. “It is a typical formation of ‘the dogs of war,’ for whom war is a way of life. Compared to Putin’s crew, Skobov continues, Prigozhin’s people “turned out to be more ‘rational scoundrels’” who were compelled to tell at least part of the truth about the Putin regime.”

            According to the analyst, “Prigozhin acknowledged that Russia itself organized the bleeding wound in the Donbas and that no one was going to attack Russia,” thus demolishing two of the Kremlin’s propaganda points. Instead, he made clear that “the war was unleashed by Putin’s oligarchy to satisfy their love of power and thirst for money grubbing.”

            Prigozhin approached but did not take the last step of articulating “a revolutionary democratic slogan” like “’Down with the war!’” He lacked the firm principles to do that, and thus proved the ancient observation that “such adventurers can never be consistent fighters for freedom and justice.”

            As a result, Skobov argues, “Prigozhin’s rebellion ended with a parody of a gangster ‘shootout’ and a deal ‘according to understandings.’”

            Even more to the point, he says, “the Wagner rebellion didn’t develop into a revolution or at least a coup because the ‘patriotic’ masses he appealed to turned out to be too atomized and passive. They weren’t  able to act independently.” Moreover, the masses already knew everything Prigozhin was saying but weren’t prepared to act on it.

            “The farcical end of Prigozhin’s rising doesn’t eliminate any of the problems that caused it. Rather, it only exacerbates them. The Putin regime has shown its weakness to the world. His machine, for all its apparent impressiveness, wasn’t easter to fight the putschists; indeed, a fair part of that machine sympathized with them.”

            “Something similar can take place again at any time,” Skobov says. “Any sufficiently daring adventurer can bring down a political edifice that is based on lies and falsehoods.” No one, including the liberal opposition, can justify inaction by saying ‘this is not our war’ or claiming ‘it is impossible to push the country into a civil war.’”

            “The civil war in Russia is already underway; and this is precisely our civil war,” Skobov argues. “It is a war against ‘criminals who have seized the state and made it an instrument of their crimes.’ … These are our enemies in the civil war; and any force which takes up arms against such people should not just be supported but encourage to do so.”

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