Sunday, June 25, 2023

Prigozhin Rising ‘Deadly for Putin’s Reputation’ among Russians, Pastukhov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 25 – Prigozhin and his forces may not have reached Moscow but they have achieved one goal: they have destroyed Putin’s reputation as a strongman capable of handling any situation, Vladimir Pastukhov says; and that may prove more fateful to the current regime than anything else

            In the course of 24 hours, the London-based Russian analyst says, “tragedy turned into comedy:” but that is not going to be for long and “the consequences will be serious. The next attempted coup is coming, and the regime will respond by becoming increasingly repressive (

            In this situation, Pastukhov argues, “Putin looks like a fool” and there is nothing either he or anyone else can do about it.

            The last 24 hours have been “a day of disgrace for the authorities and Putin personally,” he continues. “The helplessness of the police and the National Guard, Putin’s initial silence and then dubious speech about what he described as a rebellion, cities surrendering without a fight, planes carrying the elite without clear destinations, and propagandists left without guidance.”

            All these things have been “deadly for the reputation of Putin and his regime, and they will remain stuck in the public consciousness forever … Now everyone knows that the king has no clothes and is a figure of fun. Prigozhin, himself a jester succeeded in casting the entire Putin regime in a jester’s light.”

            According to Pastukhov, “there will be less fear, and the time will come when there will be those who will want to repeat” the last day but this time “not as a joke but as something serious” – and that is what Putin, his regime, the Russian people and the world are going to be living with in the coming days, weeks or months.

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