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The Impact

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By Dpsu.gov.ua, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=130644897

The situation remains fluid in Russia, but Putin is apparently awake:

In a five-minute address to the nation, Mr. Putin called the rebellion by Mr. Prigozhin treasonous and “a stab in the back of our country and our people.” Mr. Putin said that Rostov’s military and civilian functions had “essentially been blocked,” appearing to acknowledge some success by Mr. Prigozhin, who on Saturday morning said they had taken over the southern military headquarters of the Russian Armed Forces in the city.

Doesn’t seem like this could work out badly for Ukraine, but thus far there hasn’t been any observable impact on Russian operations cross-border:

As a general rule it’s bad when part of the security bureaucracy attempts a coup during the middle of a war, but in this case Wagner’s separation from the normal chain of command probably works to the advantage of Russian military efforts. Much will depend, of course, on whether efforts to crush Wagner have an impact on Russian Army logistical and reinforcement timetables. The Ukrainians frankly haven’t been able to put a lot of pressure on the Russians yet during this counter-offensive (at least in ways that are visible from the outside) but Ukrainian forces still have cards that haven’t been played.

On the political side, it’s obviously bad for Putin that one of his chief lieutenants has entered into open rebellion, up to and including denouncing the core case for the war. I don’t know that anyone has enough insight into Russia popular and elite politics to predict how this will play out with respect to Russian popular support for the war. Lawrence Freedman offers a good account of how Putin and Prigozhin reached this point.

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