Are there traitors in Russia’s highest ranks? From Andrew Korybko at theautomaticearth.com:
Wagner chief Evgeny Prigozhin published an open letter to President Putin, Chief of General Staff Gerasimov, the Ministry of Defense, and the Russian people on Friday declaring that his private military company will withdraw from Artyomovsk on 10 May due an absence of ammunition. RT reported that he blamed “paramilitary bureaucrats” for this scandalous state of affairs and requested that his fighters’ positions be replaced by the Russian Army in order to retain their gains there over the past half-year.
Prigozhin has been feuding with the Ministry of Defense over logistics for quite a while already, which has prompted Western observers to speculate that there are either serious problems with Russia’s military-industrial capabilities and/or that this is part of a power play by one of those two. It’s impossible for outside observers to know what’s really going on behind the scenes, but his latest statement makes clear his implied plea for President Putin to establish a modern-day “oprichnina” without delay.
This refers to Ivan the Formidable’s (commonly mistranslated into English as “the Terrible”) special forces that were assembled to root out traitorous elements among the boyars, which were the powerful Russian nobility, amidst their country’s long-running Livonian War at the time. While smeared by Western historians as the Tsar’s unaccountable assassins who allegedly terrorized the population, they’re deeply appreciated by many Russian historians who regard them as patriotic forces.