The authors are investigative journalists, authors of books on the history and activities of the FSB, founders and editors of the Agentura.ru portal.
A few weeks before Prigozhin’s rebellion, a group of Wagnerian mercenaries captured an army lieutenant colonel, commander of the 72nd brigade, near Bachmut. The Wagners beat the lieutenant colonel and forced him to confess on camera that he had drunkenly shot at their vehicle. The video was immediately circulated on Internet channels associated with Prigozhin, but the Russian military leadership reacted with complete silence.
A month later, Prigozhin began his “march of justice”, seizing the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don and moving on Moscow, while the Russian army idly watched the rebellion. On July 13, an audio recording of the recently dismissed commander of the 58th Army, General Ivan Popov, was made public, in which Popov actually accused the high command, i.e. Gerasimov, of betraying the frontline soldiers.
The atmosphere at the top of the Russian military has never been more tense: generals publicly discuss tactical mistakes in the war, while senior officers whose units are being killed in missile strikes wonder how their whereabouts were leaked and talk of betrayal. Against the background of this unrest, rumors continue to spread that a significant part of the command corps has been arrested or suspended from their posts.
Nevertheless, it is premature to believe that the Russian military is on the verge of collapse. Whatever problems the military has, it does not mean that it is losing its ability to fight.
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