What a Real Insurrection Looks Like. Russia ‘Armed Insurrection’ Halts After Deal Reached

By Al Perrotta Published on June 25, 2023

We got a taste of what a real “armed insurrection” looks like this weekend. No Viking garb or selfie-taking grandmas in sight.

And it had the world on edge.

The Russian mercenary force Wagner Group,  a potent weapon in Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, suddenly turned on Putin this Friday. Led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner Group crossed into Russia, taking crucial military sites, taking down Russian helicopters, and began advancing toward Moscow. The military prepared to block the rebellion. There were even reports Putin had fled the capital.

The move was called the greatest threat to Putin since he took power.

What Happened

Prigozhin has been bitterly dissatisfied with how Russia’s military is conducting the war, including the lack of ammunition being provided his troops. The New York Times reports Prigozhin loathes Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces, and the feeling is mutual. The tug-and-pull highlights the disarray with the Russian military. 

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Prigozhin claimed he was forced to act after the Russian military attacked one of his camps Friday, a claim Russia denies. Indeed, U.S. has intelligence suggesting Wagner Group was building up its forces along the Russian border long before Friday’s attack. According to the New York Times, the U.S. kept quiet about it, not wanting to be seen as helping Putin in any way.

Last year, Joe Biden loudly declared that Putin “cannot remain in power.” (The White House denied Biden was calling for regime change, but you understand what he was saying in plain English.) 

Former President Trump weighed in on the weekend crisis, posting on Truth Social. “A big mess in Russia, but be careful what you wish for. Next in may be far worse!” 

We were looking at the potential for a bloody mess. 

But then, suddenly … 

Prigozhin stopped his advance on Moscow. “Now the moment has come when blood can be shed. Therefore, realizing all the responsibility for the fact that Russian blood will be shed from one side, we will turn our convoys around and go in the opposite direction to our field camps.”

A deal between the mercenary leader and Putin had been worked out by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. 

The Nature of the Deal

Prigozhin agreed to halt his advance, what Putin had earlier called a “path to treason.” His forces that did not take part will be offered contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense, something Prigozhin previously rejected.

He and his forces that did take part will not face any charges for their insurrection. Yes, he invades Russia and gets less heat than had he walked into the U.S. Capitol January 6.

And the Wagner Forces are relocating to Belarus.

Yes. The same place Putin has just moved nuclear weapons. And Lukashenko says he’s not afraid to use them.

Is That It Then?

The pundits seem to agree that, regardless of any deal, Putin is not going to let Prigozhin off scot-free. As Mario Nawfal, whose been closely tracking the events, said his “life will forever be in danger.”

Up in the air is whether Wagner Group will re-engage in the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine President Vladimir Zelenskyy is reportedly unhappy that Prigozhin called off his advance. 

Politico wonders if the Wagner Group situation provides an opportunity to America. Colin P. Clarke writes the Wagner Group is the “tip of the spear” for Russia in various spots around the globe, including Syria and Africa. 

If Wagner winds up being pulled out of some of the countries where it currently operates, that could create an opening for a U.S. diplomatic blitz to help figure out how to fill the resulting power vacuum and regain influence in those areas.

One way or another, we will be hearing more about the Wagner Group. 


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, chief barista for The Brew and co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl at GETTRGabParler, and now at TRUTH Social.

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