Vladimir Putin has survived the most dramatic and direct challenge to his 23-year reign, and the mutinous mercenary oligarch, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is in the process of being disarmed. Calm has been restored, at least on the surface. And in Ukraine, the war grinds on. Now that the dust has settled, has the aborted insurrection in Russia changed anything? What have we learnt?   

The insurrection reminded us that Russia’s army is good at inflicting punishment on stationary battlefield targets and digging in to defend territory, but it’s hardly a nimble fighting force, and its leaders don’t react quickly or effectively to the unexpected. Russian artillery continued to pummel buildings inside Ukraine before, during and after Prigozhin’s insurrection. Yet, the response to the mutiny itself was entirely ineffectual until Wagner’s convoy stopped its approach 300km from Moscow.   ..

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