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Russian (Melo)Drama

After a few hours of high drama in southwestern Russia last Saturday, featuring a paramilitary leader, 4,000 to 6,000 followers, and a small column of trucks and other military vehicles driving north toward Moscow, let us keep our heads when all about us are losing theirs and blaming it on … Vladimir Putin. Let us try to understand what happened and why when Yevgeny Prigozhin, a commander of no military experience but nonetheless of some battlefield accomplishment, turned on Russia’s high command after months of heated and very public feuding. Let us first try to understand what did not happen last Saturday. No one challenged state power.

Russia’s FSB Spooked CIA On Prigozhin ‘Coup’

CNN, followed by the New York Times, broke the story on Sunday that the US and Western intelligence were indeed aware of the failed coup attempt on Friday night by Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group of Russian military contractors, “for quite some time and making preparations for such a move, including by massing weapons and ammunition.” What we do not know is at what point Russian intelligence got wind of it. The Kremlin acted forcefully, decisively and with foresight in real time to scotch the coup attempt within hours. By Saturday evening, the foreign intelligence chief Sergey Narishkin announced that the coup attempt had failed. The Russian authorities were waiting for Prigozhin to make his move.

Prigozhin’s Farce Is Over And It Is Clear Who Has Won

The Prigozhin's insurrection farce is over. I had predicted that it would not take long to end: In twelve or so hours things are likely to have calmed down. About eight hours after I published the above Prigozhin had given up and left the scene. Prigozhin had launched his hopeless mutiny after the Defense Ministry had demanded that all his men sign contacts with the Russian army. That would have taken away the autonomy of his Wagner outlet and with it a large chunk of his profits. The run of his troops towards Moscow was a desperate attempt to get Putin's attention and to make him reverse the ministry's plans.

Brazil Bracing For Insurrection Far Worse Than US Capitol Attack

The president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Minister Edson Fachin, declared that during this year’s presidential election, Brazil may have a more serious attack than the January 6, 2021, invasion of the Capitol in the United States. “We may have an even more aggressive episode than January 6 from here on Capitol Hill. We understand that there are six fundamental conditions to prevent this from happening in Brazil,” said Fachin, during a discussion at the Wilson Center in Washington DC on Wednesday, July 6.
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