Matthew Gordon-Banks

Matthew Gordon-Banks asks “Will Prigozhin’s upset make a difference”?

Matthew Gordon-Banks says: Head of the Wagner Russian private military contractor, Prigozhin, clearly had enough following alleged ‘friendly fire’ hitting his contracted soldiers. Whilst we do not know the exact truth of what happened, it has apparently triggered a huge reaction from Prigozhin himself. He is ‘gunning’ for the Russian Defence Minister and the Head of the Russian Armed Forces. He is not, he says, anything but loyal to President Putin.

Prigozhin has not signed a new contract with the Russian Defence Ministry and as a result has not been paid this month and is allegedly unable to pay his soldiers. This in itself may be what triggered his reaction to the ‘friendly fire’ incident.

Western commentators have been writing with glee about the difficulties Putin now faces, even if they are temporary, but it is not necessarily going to affect anything on the ground in the Ukraine conflict. In fact, in the unlikely event that Prigozhin took some control in Moscow it would make matters worse for Ukraine. He is not seeking to sue for Peace! Indeed his way of waging war could be worse than the policy Putin adopted of minimising civilian casualties; one reason why his Special Military Operation is taking longer than expected.

During the last three weeks Ukraine has fought an uphill battle, which seemed doomed from the start. The result is probably clearly higher casualties among the Ukrainians, than the Russian side. This means that UkrAF becomes weaker in comparison to the RuAF. That is one goal not achieved. If the other goals where successful you could accept normal losses, but that is not the case.

Ukrainian territorial gains, both on the Southern and Eastern fronts has been minimal and nothing indicates that will change. That, in combination with high losses, especially losses on video, destroys all possibility of a propaganda victory.

Now Ukraine must try to hide the failed counteroffensive by denying its existence and downplaying the losses. Ukraine and its supporters still dominate western media so they might have some success there. But doubts will grow even in the west, that the war is winnable and worth spending huge resources on.

The plain fact is, that Ukraine has been losing this unwinnable war for some time.

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