Why has Prigozhin been allowed to remain free?
He marched on Moscow, shooting down planes and helicopters sent to intercept him, before he chose to agree to a deal brokered by Lukashenko from Belarus.
Yet, as of today, Prigozhin is a free man with a private army both in Russia and Belarus.
It appears, then, that he has not been eliminated because Putin needs him.
Did Prigozhin become popular with Russians? Then Putin needs him.
What is the state of the relationship between Putin and his country’s armed forces?
There may have been reluctance in the military to support Putin’s war in Ukraine, but still went along thinking it would be short work. When it proved quite different, sentiment soured.
The military has watched as Russia degrades economically while becoming more isolated and more dependent on China.
And then there’s the courage of Ukrainians.
How can you not be inspired by such heroism?
How long do you keep believing Putin’s story that Ukrainians are puppets of the West, intent on harming Russia, when they keep dying every day? Do they not value their existences?
How long do you keep believing Putin’s story that Ukraine is full of Nazis when their president is Jewish?
How long does the Russian Army buy the notion that America and the West are evil forces when, because of our help, Ukrainians have become a leading light to the free peoples of the world?
It is not lost on intelligent Russians, that Ukraine will be rebuilt and become a shining example of what freedom can achieve.
It is not lost on intelligent Russians that, when Germany was divided, West Germany blossomed while East Germany shriveled.
It is not lost on intelligent Russians that there has been a significant exodus of much of their talented people who feel suffocated under Putin’s rule. And that a brave dissenter like Alexei Navalny languishes in prison, where he will probably die unless released.
Russia’s armed forces have in their midst educated men and women who are bitterly divided on the effect that Putin’s dominance has had on their evolution as an institution and, dismayed that Putin has chosen to arm and rely so heavily on Prigozhin’s mercenaries, rightfully asks itself, ‘when do we act? When do we summon our courage and act on behalf of our future?’
Do the Chinese get to elect their leaders? No. They’re stuck with whoever bullies the most.
In the West, plenty of mistakes are made, but freedom of speech is central and flawed…