Prigozhin is almost certainly dead.
Putin is almost certainly culpable.
The big question is, what happens next?
Ben Hodges former Commanding General USArmyEurope recently wondered out loud why team Biden refuses to use the word “win” when referring to Ukraine’s objectives in the war with Russia. It’s a big source of frustration for Hodges and many of his contemporaries.
One reason Hodges cited as a possible reason why team Biden would not state winning as an objective in the conflict was a potential concern over what might occur in the aftermath of a collapse of the Putin regime. Who would control Russia’s vast nuclear arsenal?
Indeed veteran military analysts see the security situation in Russia in wake of Prigozhin’s apparent murder as anything but settled and stable. Many point to the possibility of a Stalinesque purge sweeping up and eliminating all who are deemed to oppose Putin.
But such a purge is not seen as necessarily likely to foment stability. In fact the opposite is quite possible. There are many in Russia who could be threatened by such a purge. Some of those people could be fairly powerful and might feel threatened by the specter of such events. One group that could be effected would be Prigozhin’s Wagner fighters. If they feel targeted they might be inclined to take countermeasures.
In Ukraine, while the death of Prigozhin isn’t seen as likely to have a direct effect on the fighting it could easily further erode Russian troop morale. Chuck Pfarrer former SEAL Team Six Squadron Leader and Twitter military blogger yesterday noted that the biggest single problem for Russian troops in Ukraine is morale, and this isn’t likely to help it any.
Prigozhin is gone but Putin’s problems appear only to be getting worse.
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