The fall of Putin and Moscow
If Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigogine is to be believed, the incursion of Russian anti-Putin fighters into Russian territory could spell the downfall of the regime.
Prigogine is an awful jojo. A former convict, without faith or law, he is at the head of an army of mercenaries who risk being tried for war crimes.
But Prigogine has some qualities. One of them is to say what he thinks, without filters or jargon. So far, the information emanating from him is reliable.
Of the 50,000 mercenaries who made up his army, he explained that only 30,000 would remain. He denounced the retreat of the Russian army in Bakhmout. He castigated the shortage of armaments from which his troops suffered. He correctly predicted the fall of the center of Bakhmout.
For months, Prigogine has railed against the incompetence of the Russian army and the Russian leadership.
In recent days , he had the nerve to admit that the Ukrainian army was one of the best in the world.
Revolution in the making
Prigogine's new predictions are enough to frighten the Russian leaders.
According to him, if the war continues as it started, there will be in Russia a revolution on the scale of that of 1917. This is because, to use his words, the children of poor families return in coffins, while those of the elite bask in the sun. It would be enough for the next Ukrainian counter-offensive to be a success for Putin's regime to fall.
To avoid this fall, Prigogine wants Putin to decree a general mobilization.
Putin on borrowed time
Prigogine espouses the exalted analysis of ultranationalist Russians. His words are probably exaggerated. But they have so far shown some acuity.
They confirm the growing instability of Putin's government. This same instability that encourages Putin to avoid a general mobilization, for fear that the population will let him down.
For Putin, the time in power seems limited.