By Andy Holmes
The military rebellion that started and ended in Russia one week ago stirred up the world community and generated numerous explanations of what it all means.
We can incessantly discuss what could have happened if Yevgeny Prigozhin and its Wagner mercenaries had succeeded in their military rush to Moscow. There are plenty of versions of who exactly persuaded Prigozhin to turn back. And it seems that all political and war experts had time to deliver their ‘unique’ vision of the reasons that led to the events of June 24.
But all these speculations are pointless as they have already become a part of history. What really matters is how the failed revolution will impact on the inner political stability in Russia and, as a consequence, on the future Kremlin’s maneuvers on the political stage.
At this moment, the situation is as follows. Prigozhin and the Wagner Group headed for Belarus and this move poses quite a tangible threat to the northern border of Ukraine and the whole region controlled by NATO. In mass media some rumors emerged about possible arrest of top Russian generals, who might be partly responsible for the development of tensions inside Russian military establishment. As for the Ukrainian counteroffensive, it hasn’t increased its pace and Valery Zaluzhny, the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, still claims about the urgent need for shells and F-16 jets. No visible progress on the battleground has been recorded so far.
Under these circumstances so-called experts and think tanks have expressed the opinion that Putin is losing control and his authority is firm and fundamental no more. However, these conclusions and assumptions look at least naive and groundless or even far-fetched and artificially created.
We see no panic inside Russian civil society. No one has questioned the validity of the decisions made by Russian President. Moreover, everyone inside the Russian political establishment has shown public support for Putin. The crisis itself was resolved within 24 hours with minimum bloodshed. Some people inside Russia who didn’t have access to the Internet on that holiday might have not even noticed that the real revolution had been plotted.
Right now, there are no signs of Putin’s autocratic regime to tumble or at least stagger. We have to admit that his authority remains solid and stable. Unfortunately, it means that Kremlin’s war potential hasn’t diminished and this short-run uprisal hasn’t brought the war closer to its end.