Monday, June 26, 2023

Russia Descending Not into a Civil War but into a War of All Against All, Gerashchenko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 25 – In the wake of the Prigozhin rising, Anton Gerashchenko says, Russia faces “a bloody war, not a civil war but rather a war of clans and the private armies of Chechens, the Prigozhin PMC and bandits. This conflict will be a new 1990s but much more horrific.”

            In a comment about the Prigozhin rising, the former deputy interior minister of Ukraine makes a number of points about what has happened and what will likely happen in Russia now. Three of those points are especially noteworthy (

            First of all, Gerashchenko says, “the power vertical has been destroyed. No one in Russia from now on will  be able to feel secure. Nown country t an official, not an oligarch, and not an FSB officer, who up until now had considered themselves masters of the situation.” And related to this, no one will look to Putin to protect them: he no longer has the monopoly of force needed to do so.

            Second, the number of armed bands will now grow exponentially. “Every major business and every oligarch will create if they haven’t done so already private armies such as the one Gazprom created for its on defense. Conflicts and division of property will be decided by force,” in the manner but much more violently than was the case in the 1990s.

            And third – and this may prove the most immediately important – “the Russian army has de facto ceased to exist as a single organism. Soldiers and officers, sitting in trenches in the war unleashed by Putin yesterday finally recognized the complete senselessness of the war against Ukraine” given the collapse of order in Russia itself.

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