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The Fragile State of Russia: Is Further Chaos Probable?



The Wagner Group's recent uprising in Russia not only shook the country but also caused some people to worry about its long-term stability. Although the decision to put an end to the mutiny and Yevgeny Prigozhin's subsequent exile to Belarus may have appeared to be a temporary solution, they were really just bandaging a much larger wound. The threat of more upheaval and instability in Russia grows as the war in Ukraine continues.


The Wagner Group's two-day mutiny and their seizing of a military base in Rostov-on-Don shocked all of Russia. Prigozhin sought the resignation of top defence officials and claimed that the Russian military had attacked his organisation. Conflicts between the Wagner Group and Russian regular forces have been reported, while the scope of the mutiny is still unknown.


A settlement between Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin was largely mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. All allegations against Prigozhin and his warriors were dropped in exchange for safe passage to Belarus. This accord, however, does not deal with the fundamental problems that initially sparked the uprising.


Russia's internal dynamics are still greatly impacted by the conflict in Ukraine. The Wagner Group's involvement in Ukraine and its actions in Russia afterward serve to underscore the rising tensions in the nation. Some paramilitary forces have grown dissatisfied with the conflict, which has sparked dissension and insurrectionist tendencies.


The underlying complaints and disappointments among some factions in Russia are not addressed by the unsuccessful rebellion and Prigozhin's exile. Along with allegations of power abuse and corruption, the unrest caused by the conflict in Ukraine continues to be a powerful trigger for more upheaval. The conflict's unresolved nature is evident from the fact that Prigozhin said the Wagner Group would carry on with its activities in Ukraine "according to plan".


The uprising revealed weaknesses in Russia's military and political establishment. The defence establishment's demand for resignations from Prigozhin reveals his lack of faith in the ability of the current leadership to appropriately handle internal problems. Despite his early promises to put down the rebels, President Putin's hesitation to make personnel changes casts doubt on the stability and cohesion of the Russian administration.


Further anarchy and instability in Russia seem probable given the complicated geopolitical situation and the unresolved concerns surrounding the war in Ukraine. The insurrection's temporary conclusion does not deal with the country's enduring issues. The stability of Russia is seriously threatened by the underlying discontent and the potential for additional upheavals.

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