Robyn Dixon and Mary Ilyushina, “Wagner mercenary boss faces arrest over ‘incitement to armed rebellion,’” Washington Post, June 23, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/06/23/prigozhin-wagner-mercenary-russia-military/
Gabriel Gavin, Tim Ross, and Zoya Sheftalovich, “Putin in crisis: Wagner chief Prigozhin declares war on Russian military leadership, says ‘we will destroy everything,’” Politico, June 23, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/putin-in-crisis-as-wagner-chief-prigozhin-declares-war-on-russian-military-leadership/
Yaroslav Trofimov, “Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Wagner Chief on Charges of Mutiny,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-shoots-down-russian-cruise-missile-barrage-9d9da03a
Nick Allen, “US says Wagner coup is ‘real’ and ‘serious’ as White House consults allies,” Telegraph, June 24, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/06/24/wagner-coup-russia-us-reaction-joe-biden-vladimir-putin/
Anne Applebaum, “Russia Slides Into Civil War,” Atlantic, June 24, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2023/06/russia-civil-war-wagner-putin-coup/674517/
Peter Baker, “Short-Lived Mutiny in Russia Sheds Light on Putin’s Hold on Power,” New York Times, June 24, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/24/us/politics/us-russia-putin.html
Colin Freeman, “How Yevgeny Prigozhin went for broke — then left everyone guessing,” Telegraph, June 24, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/06/24/how-yevgeny-prigozhins-wagner-group-launched-coup-russia/
Gabriel Gavin and Christian Oliver, “Kremlin says Prigozhin will depart for Belarus after his rebellion fizzles,” Politico, June 24, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/wagner-group-russia-forces-turn-back-moscow-prigozhin-declares/
James Kilner, “Putin’s aura of invincibility is shattered – and in Russia, weakness is terminal,” Telegraph, June 24, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/06/24/putin-betrayal-russia-coup-armed-mutiny-wagner-prigozhin/
Ellen Nakashima and Shane Harris, “U.S. spies learned in mid-June Prigozhin was plotting Russia uprising,” Washington Post, June 24, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/06/24/us-intelligence-prigozhin-putin/
Tom Nichols, “The Coup Is Over, but Putin Is in Trouble,” Atlantic, June 24, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2023/06/putin-russian-coup-over-prigozhin-wagner/674522/
Richard M. Nixon [Justin Sherrin], “Russia Briefing,” Patreon, June 24, 2023, https://www.patreon.com/posts/russia-briefing-85060327
Robert Tombs, “Putin is not out of the woods – he stands gravely weakened,” Telegraph, June 24, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/06/24/putin-not-out-of-woods-gravely-weakened/
Yaroslav Trofimov, “Russia’s Putin Orders Military to Crush Wagner Power Grab, Calls It Treason,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-shoots-down-russian-cruise-missile-barrage-9d9da03a
Benoit Faucon, Joe Parkinson and Thomas Grove, “Why Wagner Chief Prigozhin Turned Against Putin, ” Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/wagner-prigozhin-putin-mutiny-moscow-march-7072d6ea
Michael R. Gordon and Alan Cullison, “Wagner Mutiny Revives U.S. Fears Over Control of Russia’s Nuclear Weapons,” Washington Post, June 25, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/wagner-mutiny-revives-u-s-fears-over-control-of-russias-nuclear-weapons-29319369
Richard Kemp, “Putin’s downfall is only delayed. It’s coming,” Telegraph, June 25, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/06/25/putins-downfall-is-only-delayed-its-coming/
James Kilner, “Putin disappears as allies ask how rebels got so close to Moscow,” Telegraph, June 25, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/06/25/vladimir-putin-disappears-question-how-wagner-close-moscow/
James Risen, “Prigozhin and Putin: Dead Men Walking,” Intercept, June 25, 2023, https://theintercept.com/2023/06/25/prigozhin-putin-russia-coup/
Below is a brief description of Prigozhin’s mutiny and the factors that contributed to its outcome. We, as observers, initially missed important details due to the scarcity of information and lack of time for in-depth analysis. Here’s the perspective that currently seems most plausible:
1️⃣ Prigozhin’s rebellion wasn’t a bid for power or an attempt to overtake the Kremlin. It arose from a sense of desperation; Prigozhin was forced out of Ukraine and found himself unable to sustain Wagner the way he did before, while the state machinery was turning against him. To top it off, Putin was ignoring him and publicly supporting his most dangerous adversaries.
2️⃣ Prigozhin’s objective was to draw Putin’s attention and to impose a discussion about conditions to preserve his activities – a defined role, security, and funding. These weren’t demands for a governmental overthrow; they were a desperate bid to save the enterprise, hoping that Prigozhin’s merits in taking Bakhmut (that’s why he needed it!) would be taken into account and the concerns would catch Putin’s serious attention. Now it appears that these merits helped Prigozhin to get out of this crisis alive, but without a political future in Russia (at least while Putin is in power).
3️⃣ Prigozhin was caught off-guard by Putin’s reaction and found himself unprepared to assume the role of a revolutionary. He also wasn’t prepared for the fact that Wagner was about to reach Moscow where his only option remained – to “take the Kremlin” – an action that would inevitably result in him and his fighters being eradicated.
4️⃣ Those in the elites who were able reached out to Prigozhin with offers to surrender. This likely added to his sense of impending doom. However, I don’t believe any high-level negotiations took place. Lukashenko presented Prigozhin with a Putin-endorsed offer to retreat on the condition that Prigozhin would leave Russia and Wagner would be dissolved.
5️⃣ I don’t think Prigozhin was in a position to make demands (such as the resignation of Shoigu or Gerasimov – something many observers expect today. If that happens, it will be due to another reason.) After Putin’s address in the morning of June 24th, Prigozhin’s primary concern was to find an off-ramp. The situation would have led to inevitable death in merely a few hours. It is possible that Putin has promised him safety on the condition that Prigozhin remains quietly in Belarus.
I stand by my previous assertion that Putin and the state have been dealt a severe blow (which will have significant repercussions for the regime). However, I want to emphasize that image has always been a secondary concern for Putin. Setting optics aside, Putin objectively resolved the Wagner and Prigozhin problem by dissolving the former and expelling the latter. The situation would have been far worse if it had culminated in a bloody mess in the outskirts of Moscow.
And no, Putin doesn’t need Wagner or Prigozhin. He can manage with his own forces. He’s now certainly convinced of that.
I will disclose many more details in my bulletin to be issued tomorrow evening.
— Tatiana Stanovaya (@Stanovaya) June 25, 2023
Tatiana Stanovaya, “Below is a brief description of Prigozhin’s mutiny and the factors that contributed to its outcome. . . .” Twitter, June 25, 2023, https://twitter.com/Stanovaya/status/1672991911538196482
Ishaan Tharoor, “Putin is reaping what he sowed,” Washington Post, June 25, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/06/25/putin-wagner-damage-challenge-image/
Patrick Tucker, “How Prigozhin’s Baby Coup Weakened Everyone in Russia,” Defense One, June 25, 2023, https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2023/06/how-prigozhins-baby-coup-weakened-everyone-russia/387888/
Douglas Busvine, Gabriel Gavin, and Victor Jack, “Putin condemns Wagner rebellion but says Prigozhin’s men are free to go,” Politico, June 26, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/yevegeny-prigozhin-wagner-group-russia-ukraine-war-mutiny/
Jamie Dettmer, “Putinism’s demise will be chaotic and violent,” Politico, June 26, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-wagner-group-rebellion-vladimir-putin-demise-will-be-chaotic-and-violent/
Robyn Dixon and Mary Ilyushina, “After Putin speech on deal with mercenaries, Russia confronts divisions,” Washington Post, June 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/06/27/putin-prigozhin-wagner-russia-divided/
Julia Ioffe, “Putin vs. Prigozhin: The Post-Coup Report,” Puck, June 27, 2023, https://puck.news/putin-vs-prigozhin-the-post-coup-report/
Bojan Pancevski, “Wagner’s Prigozhin Planned to Capture Russian Military Leaders,” Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/wagners-prigozhin-planned-to-capture-russian-military-leaders-805345cf
Max Seddon et al., “Vladimir Putin freezes out hardliners after Wagner mutiny,” Financial Times, June 28, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/1d084fc7-d249-451d-b791-56a05b9010fc
John Feffer, “The Beginning of the End for Putin?” Foreign Policy In Focus, June 29, 2023, https://fpif.org/the-beginning-of-the-end-for-putin/
Max Seddon, Henry Foy, and Polina Ivanova, “Russia detains ‘General Armageddon’ in crackdown on pro-Wagner elites,” Financial Times, June 29, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/e937199c-a5c1-45d9-85bc-85cf75a3528d
Ishaan Tharoor, “The battle in Syria that looms behind Wagner’s rebellion,” Washington Post, June 30, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/06/30/wagner-syria-russia-battle-united-states/
Anastasia Stognei, “How Wagner’s march of fury brought the war home,” Financial Times, June 30, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/a3b577e2-b441-474a-992c-47cdf96060f6
Anastasia Stognei, “Prigozhin appeals for public support as Wagner continues recruiting,” Financial Times, July 3, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/68b98279-7904-4ffd-84b2-07fda79755f0
Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s Post-Prigozhin Clean Up,” Puck, July 5, 2023, https://puck.news/putins-post-prigozhin-clean-up/
Nataliya Vasilyeva, “Prigozhin flies to Russia to collect weapons seized after mutiny,” Telegraph, July 5, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/07/05/yevgeny-prigozhin-wagner-returns-russia-weapons-belarus/
Robyn Dixon and Catherine Belton, “Mercenary boss returned to Russia to collect money and guns,” Washington Post, July 6, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/06/yevgeny-prigozhin-russia-wagner-rebellion/
Lisa Haseldine, “Wagner’s ‘coup’ was just the first act in its plot to destroy Putin,” Telegraph, July 6, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/07/06/prigozhin-coup-was-just-the-first-act-plot-destroy-putin/
Nicolas Camut, “Putin met Prigozhin in Moscow after Wagner mutiny,” Politico, July 10, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/vladimir-putin-met-wagner-group-yevgeny-prigozhin-moscow-after-mutiny/
Matthew Luxmoore, “Wagner Leader Prigozhin Met With Putin Days After Aborted Revolt,” Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/wagner-leader-prigozhin-met-with-putin-days-after-aborted-revolt-kremlin-says-f10e2f1d
Ivan Krastev, “There is now a ‘collective Putin’ in the Kremlin,” Financial Times, July 11, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/9a7d8d5f-a332-41e8-9845-db805dfc7ed4
Thomas Grove, “Russia Detained Several Senior Military Officers in Wake of Wagner Mutiny,” Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-detained-several-senior-military-officers-in-wake-of-wagner-mutiny-35a696e4
Andrew Roth and Pjotr Sauer, “Putin says he tried but failed to oust Prigozhin after Wagner mutiny,” Guardian, July 14, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/14/putin-says-he-tried-but-failed-to-oust-prigozhin-after-wagner-mutiny-figters-ukarine-war
Mary Ilyushina, “Prigozhin says Wagner mercenary group for now will not fight in Ukraine,” Washington Post, July 19, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/19/prigozhin-wagner-belarus-ukraine-putin/
Emil Avdaliani, “Wagner Mutiny Could Push a Weak Russia Closer to Iran,” Inter Press Service, July 21, 2023, https://www.ipsnews.net/2023/07/wagner-mutiny-push-weak-russia-closer-iran/
Gabriel Gavin, “Wagner boss Prigozhin killed in jet crash in Russia,” Politico, August 23, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/jet-believed-to-be-carrying-wagner-boss-prigozhin-crashes-in-russia/
Julia Ioffe, “Prigozhin’s Treason & the Price of Betrayal,” Puck, August 23, 2023, https://puck.news/prigozhins-treason-the-price-of-betrayal/
Thomas Grove and Yaroslav Trofimov, “Prigozhin Is Gone, but the Causes of Russia’s Growing Instability Persist,” Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/russia/prigozhin-is-gone-but-the-causes-of-russias-growing-instability-persist-b944c2c
Eva Hartog, “Prigozhin lives! Kremlin battles rumors Wagner chief faked his death,” Politico, August 24, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/prigozhin-lives-kremlin-battles-rumors-wagner-chief-faked-his-death/
Polina Ivanova et al., “Yevgeny Prigozhin crash was not caused by surface-to-air missile, says US,” Financial Times, August 25, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/af341ede-933c-4bbc-b804-3ecbe5a66827
Robyn Dixon, “Wagner chief Prigozhin’s lingering popularity a challenge for Putin,” Washington Post, August 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/08/27/yevgeniy-prigozhin-wagner-support-russia/
Lyric Li and Annabelle Timsit, “Russian investigators confirm Prigozhin dead in plane crash,” Washington Post, August 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/08/27/russia-ukraine-war-news/
Robyn Dixon, “Wagner chief Prigozhin is buried in secret as Kremlin seeks to avoid unrest,” Washington Post, August 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/08/29/prigozhin-funeral-wagner-putin-plane/