Silence of the Lambs: How the Russian Communists have responded to the Wagner mutiny and Prigozhin’s Empire By: John HelmerRead Now
The calls have begun in Moscow, starting among the war blogs and battlefield reporters, for keeping intact Yevgeny Prigozhin’s conglomerate of military budget contractors. The reason argued is that they have established themselves so strategically in the logistics of the military services that they cannot be purged without doing greater damage than Prigozhin himself has caused.
In short, a Russian oligarch who knows too much, with too many mouths to feed, too many pockets to fill, and so too big to fail.
“There may be some reorganizations and a formal change of leadership,” Boris Rozhin, author of the Colonel Cassad media, has announced.
The reason for the preservation is simple. Over many years of work, Prigozhin’s structures have grown so deeply into the state fabric that cutting them out at the same time without serious damage to the state is fraught with serious problems. That is, you can cut it out, but the consequences will be serious.
The war reporters are not the source of the first estimates from the Defence Ministry indicating the trillion-rouble, multi-billion dollar size of Prigozhin’s empire, and the scale of the personal fortunes he, his close associates, and state officials have been accumulating for at least a decade. No military analyst contacted for comment on the figures, will respond.
In the organized Russian political opposition, only the communist parties think differently and say so in public. Since the beginning of the special military operation they have publicly repudiated the pro-NATO line of the communist parties in Europe.
The non-communist opposition in Moscow, led by Mikhail Delyagin in parliament and Sergei Glazyiev in government, has been vocal in their criticism of the Central Bank governor, Elvira Nabiullina; on Prigozhin they remain silent, refusing to answer questions.
Leading the open challenge to the Kremlin and the Defense Ministry is the Russian Communist Workers Party (RKRP in Russian, CWP in English), a breakaway from the Russian Communist Party (KPRF); with 57 deputies and 20% of the national vote, the KPRF is the leading opposition bloc in the State Duma; the CWP draws about 2% of the vote and has no parliamentary voice. At the start of the special military operation in February of last year, the CWP gave qualified support, but made that conditional on what the goals of the operation would turn out to be.
In our analysis and conclusions in these specific historical conditions, we rely on the analysis already made in the course of the development of the situation, including at the conference with the communists of Donbass, Ukraine, Russia in November 2019 in Lugansk. Once again, returning to the fact of the recognition of the republics of Donbass, we note that it happened, although late, much later than it should have, but better late than never. The RKRP not only supported this step from the very beginning of the proclamation of these republics, but also demanded that the bourgeois authorities of the Russian Federation take this step as an aid in opposing the People’s republics of Donbass to fascist aggression by the Kiev Nazis.
The goal of the strongest U.S. imperialism in the world is to weaken the Russian competitor and expand its influence in the European market space. For this purpose, they purposefully worked to pit against each other not only the authorities, but also the peoples of Russia and Ukraine…We have no doubt that the true goals of the Russian state in this war are quite imperialist–strengthening the positions of imperialist Russia in the global market competition. But, since this struggle today to some extent helps the people of Donbass to fight back against Bandera fascism, the communists do not object to this objective, but allow and support as much as it is being waged against fascism in Donbass and Ukraine… As long as Russia’s armed intervention helps to save people in Donbass from reprisals by the punishers, we will not resist this goal. In particular, we consider it permissible if, due to the circumstances, it becomes necessary to use force against the fascist Kiev regime, insofar as it will be in the interests of the working people… To die and kill for the interests of the masters is stupid, criminal and unacceptable.
That was on February 24, 2022.
Last week the CWP issued its declaration of “We told you so”. About Prigozhin and the Kremlin, the party told its supporters,
there are no clean and honest people here and there cannot be.
These events showed that the bourgeois dictatorship has led the country to the decline, not only of the economy, but also of the army and state administration, which, by the way, was what Prigozhin was talking about and speculating on. It should be said that Prigozhin himself is also an oligarch with a criminal past, who made his billions in a non-transparent way. Now it turns out that Prigozhin was simply competing for a more lucrative place at the feeding trough against other oligarchs. And he himself has understood perfectly well that if he were to find himself in power, he would pursue the same policy. That’s because practically everything in the politics of the bourgeois state is determined only by economic interests, simply put—the interests of profit.
The KPRF has also issued statements, including a long interview with the Communist Party leader-for-life, Gennady Zyuganov. He doesn’t endorse the line of attack of the CWP.
Follow the arguments presented by the two Russian communist parties as they debate in public the meaning of the Wagner mutiny and the evidence of Prigozhin’s decade-long state capture. Excerpts have been translated into English from the longer Russian statements which can be followed in their original published form.
The partisan jargon varies from country to country, language to language. But nothing comparable exists from the democratic opposition parties of North America or Europe.
What Did the Manoeuvre of the Wagner Group and Class Analysis by the Communists Show