Details Of Vladimir Putin’s Reported Behind-The-Scenes Reaction To The Wagner Mutiny Are Spilling Out, And They Are *Not* Flattering

Vladimir Putin’s war is still going, nearly eighteen months after he believed that he could storm into Ukraine and take the nation without resistance. This has been such a disastrous move that it could potentially end his long running autocracy presidency, and even worse (speaking facetiously), his old strongman reputation has fallen by the wayside. Months ago, we heard about how his former underlings were aghast at how his carefully curated “Superman” image no longer existed.

Consistent reports that he’s been building a mega-bunker and zipping around on a cosmetology train have not helped, and now, details of his behind-the-scenes behavior during the Wagner uprising (which may have had a chilling goal) will not help. As The Washington Post reports, Putin had actually been given ample warning (“at least two or three days”) that Yevgeny Prigozhin meant to turn Putin’s private mercenary army against the Kremlin, and yet, when things started to hit the fan, Putin just kinda sat there. The word being used by one anonymous security official is “paralysis”:

“Putin had time to take the decision to liquidate [the rebellion] and arrest the organizers” said one of the European security officials, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence. “Then when it began to happen, there was paralysis on all levels … There was absolute dismay and confusion. For a long time, they did not know how to react.”

Not only that, but Putin reportedly gave zero direction to regional and local leaders, so the situation compounded itself. In other words, he reportedly didn’t act like a leader at all (“he just hid”), which has provided a substantial hit to his reputation within Russia:

“Putin showed himself to be a person who is not able to make serious, important and quick decisions in critical situations. He just hid,” said Gennady Gudkov, a former colonel in the Russian security services who is now an opposition politician in exile. “This was not understood by most of the Russian population. But it was very well understood by Putin’s elite. He is no longer the guarantor of their security and the preservation of the system.”

“Russia is a country of mafia rules. And Putin made an unforgivable mistake,” said a senior Moscow financier with ties to the Russian intelligence services. “He lost his reputation as the toughest man in town.”

No longer the toughest dude riding shirtless on horseback, in other words. It makes one wonder if that pickle-filled luxury hideout is seeing a lot of activity these days. Or perhaps the cosmetology train is receiving extra workouts in manner of Snowpiercer.

(Via Washington Post)