149 Comments

Very insightful analysis, as expected, and this is a zinger! : "it is important to specify a difference between Putin and Prigozhin's fascism and that of the 1930s. The two men are both very concerned with money, ....... They are oligarchical fascists -- a breed worth watching here in the US as well."

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Excellent analysis. And of course we expect nothing less from Timothy Snyder.

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This excellent analysis lays clear before us what is actually going on, as opposed to a lot of the breathless nonsense published elsewhere. Professor Snyder, you have become indispensable! I hope you are appreciated in all the high places where clear sightedness is necessary.

PS: Your class on Ukrainian history is essential learning for those who want to understand the background to current events, not to mention that you are a very talented teacher. Thank you!

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Thank you, just thank you. I’ve been waiting for this, for the events to make sense. Major media are all still in a muddle.

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The only quibble I have is the Nazis disguised their wholesale thieving as ideology. They were extremely concerned about money and made Auschwitz, for example, a production line to deliver all the belongings as well as some body parts of Jews to Germany. ‘Kanada’ was the meticulous processing line in Auschwitz. Of course the Nazis stole homes, farms, art work, businesses and all other real property too. They delivered baby shoes and prams to German mothers after they killed the Jewish ones with their babies. The important thing here is that this was systematic stealing, not an incidental ‘byproduct of a philosophy’.

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Thanks Timothy, I was hoping to receive your analysis soon.

Small point: perhaps take a moment to proof read before posting? Some of the errors actually made your meaning unclear.

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founding

Brilliant analysis.

But some readers will be confused by typos. I hope that for the benefit of future readers--reading even years from now--a corrected version can be posted. Specifically:

Paragraph No. 1, line 3: should read "the," not "he".

Paragraph No. 1, line 4: should read "tested," not "lifted".

Paragraph No. 1, line 7: delete "or".

Paragraph No. 5, line2: should read "worried," not "worry".

Paragraph No. 9, line 3: should read "now," not "no".

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Jun 26, 2023·edited Jun 26, 2023

I subscribed so I could write thank you for the excellent analysis. 😉

Also, unlike some of the other comments, I don’t mind at all the couple typos, and prefer quicker publishing to more thorough proof reading if those are the choices.

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I suspected immediately that this was a plot to extract a substantial payoff... these are mercenaries after all, isn’t it all about money particularly when the contract is up.

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Jun 26, 2023·edited Jun 26, 2023

Dr Snyder makes clear here the all-important point that this was a conflict between two baddies, not between a goodie and a baddie.

In this light, I would appreciate a great deal more explication of just what those Russians in Rostov-on-Don were rejoicing about. Were we witnessing people even badder than the baddies? Inciters of even worse crimes than those already committed? Or were these people just poor benighted misinformed individuals, thinking Prigozhin was "for the people" as opposed to Putin's "elites"? Or something else again? Just what exactly did they think they were being liberated from?

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Putin is potentially a ‘dead man walking’, says former CIA chief. 😎

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Jun 26, 2023·edited Jun 26, 2023

A KGB apparatchik and a common criminal sought common cause for several decades. Prigozhin was Putin’s ‘go to guy,’ initially with intrusion into the 2016 American presidential election and then with mercenary groups in Africa and elsewhere.

Putin was the brutal Russian czar. After his disastrous ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, he encouraged Prigozhin to expand his mercenary Wagner Group, and recruit tens of thousands of criminals as cannon fodder in military actions.

Billionaire Prigozhin relished his publicity for Wagner Group ‘successes’ in Bahlmut and elsewhere, while the Russia army and its leadership were broadly failing. Prigozhin became increasingly boisterous in his public criticisms of individual Russian leaders. Most recently he publicly criticized the Putin ‘special military operation’ venture.

The showdown between Putin and Prigozhin has significantly weakened Putin, who did not brutally squash an incipient military coup. Prigozhin may be a symbol of Mother Russian nationalism as his men seemed successful in contrast to the Russian military slugs.

It is far too early to determine what will happen to the Wagner Group, in Ukraine and elsewhere. Prigozhin may be sidelined or eliminated. Putin is no longer ‘8 feet tall,’ if ever he was.

As Churchill phrased it: “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But perhaps it is the end of the beginning.”

Personally, regarding Putin, I am deeply concerned what a cornered rat might do.

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Thank you, this is an excellent analysis of what has transpired this last week.

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This is a very comprehensive and insightful presentation.

All the quibbling about the typos, did not distract from content.

I am a kindred spirit. In writing, when the subject is raw and your thoughts are spilling out, as a rumble of thunder, it should not be judges by typos.

A grammar and spell check would be great. However, Professor Snyder, do not let the thunder faint under scrutiny.

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Interesting spectacle of one clever narcissist outflanking (Prigozhin) another (Putin) on the same turf, same war and same side). Perhaps Trump will meet the same fate in USA.

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This piece answers a question that I've had since the beginning of the war. How is it in Russia's national interest to alienate the West and become subserviant to China, which is the only country that actually does pose a military or territorial threat to Russia, by invading Ukraine. Prof. Snyder's answer? It isn't. It only furthers the interests of Putin and the kleptocrats out to loot Russia and the national interest be damned. Once clearly stated the conclusion is so obvious that I'm embarrassed I didn't see it sooner. I've certainly had the good company the "experts" who blamed the war on NATO expansion, (which never made much sense; the US has been withdrawing forces from Europe since the first Gulf War, if not before) and other actions by the West implying some existential threat to Russia.

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