Expert in Russia He turned to himself Testimonies of the Russian Blitzkrieg. On the one hand, Prigozhin was finished, everything was taken from him. According to András Rácz, this was the best of the possible outcomes, because with the victory of the Wagner leader, a man who would normally have thought that his fighters who tried to go to the desert would be hanged with a sledgehammer would have gained power.
However, he considers Vladimir Putin and his associated elites to be the biggest losers in what happened:The Russian government and its administration died a tragic death yesterday. After World War II, a non-state armed force marched more than eight hundred kilometers into Russia without encountering significant opposition..”
What is lacking as far as he is concerned is not the strength to resist, but decisiveness. This caused heavy damage to the army, as the Prigozhins shot down at least seven helicopters and one plane. According to Rácz, this represents at least 12-15 well-trained personnel and several billion dollars in damages. And then, thanks to Lukashenko’s brokered deal, they got away with it all.
According to the analyst, Putin, who has always looked determined, calm and fearless, could not cope with the sudden and unexpected crisis. The Russian government was paralyzed by events, while the exact opposite should have happened with the Kremlin’s firm orders. “Prigozhin’s earlier sarcastic comment about the old man hiding in the bunker (бункерний дед) is likely to be very wrong..” In addition, much of the Moscow elite took him as a fugitive.
According to András Rácz, Putin’s loss of power reopened the prospects for the spring 2024 presidential election. “However, after yesterday, it is not certain that this race will actually play out as we previously thought.”
Therefore, according to him, all those who base their political-business strategy on relations with Putin in Russia or abroad should reconsider this or at least prepare for alternative scenarios.
For this reason, domestic actors must finally devote considerable resources to the interpretation and analysis of Russian domestic politics, to properly map the main actors and their circles, as this knowledge will soon be needed.