The whole world just witnessed what happened between the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin and the leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin. This new plot twist with the President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenkoso, brings to light a vexing accusation that he was leading a coup against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Essentially, the military buildup perpetuated by Yevgeny Prigozhin of the Wagner Group into Southern Russia was potentially the tipping point for what the western media has long suspected. Rumors had been swirling about a potential populist uprising from within Russia in efforts to take down President Putin. Very quickly following that movement, headlines talking about the trending ‘March for Justice’ segued rapidly into all the leaders of Russia banding together collectively to formally announce their support for Putin.

Within 24 hours of this entire scenario and potential coup against Putin playing out, Russia’s leadership resolved and negotiated the matter peacefully via the leader of another authoritarian country (Belarus) with close ties inside the Russian sphere of influence. On the flip side, Russia’s leadership is now making counter accusations against Prigozhin, calling him a traitor and holding him to charges for attacking the motherland of Russia.

Prigozhin and Putin

Unfortunately, the associated press has been ‘sweeping under the rug’ crucial information regarding this twisted scandal. First of all, Prigozhin and Putin have a long history of working together all the way back to when Prigozhin was just an entrepreneur and had nothing to do with the Wagner Group. Plus, the relationship between Russia and Belarus is also deeply rooted. Putin has always supported the President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenkoso’s illegitimate rule and his ‘less than scrupulous’ rise to power. Let’s face it folks, this scandal involves three cronies with a plethora of common geopolitical interests, all cooperating and working together.

Simultaneous to this event, a new counter-offense was launched by Ukraine in attempt to push Russian troops back. However this counter-offensive has not boded well for Ukrainian troops, in fact, it’s been an utter failure. Recent headlines coming out of CNN and other western media news sources have talked about how senior intelligence leaders and senior White House officials have commented exactly that the counter-offensive has not met the expectations of the West and are failing to meet the expectations of Ukraine.

Against the backdrop of a struggling counter-offensive by the Ukrainians, combined with a surprise attack from the Wagner Group into southern Russia… Wagner suddenly has the green light to move his 25,000 militants into Belarus? If you think that’s a bit alarming, you may also find it shocking that roughly 30,000 Russian troops were moved into Belarus during 2022. And the rest is simple math. The Russian troops combined with the Wagner Group mercenaries have a standing force of about 55,000 strong staged in southern Belarus.

What is particularly troubling, the media portrayed this scandal as a slight hiccup, no need to raise any eyebrows. However, if you look below the surface, it’s all a front to distract the world from seeing what is really going on. At face value this entire scenario just seems like a natural and obvious reaction to the tensions in Russia. In actuality, it’s a strategic redeployment under the guise of some sort of deconfliction of a much greater, overarching political issue.

If you take a look at the map, you’ll see that Kiev is actually very close to the southern Belarusian border, accessible both by land and water. As of this writing, the Wagner Group is currently moving 25,000 mercenary troops (at a minimum) into northern Ukraine, joining forces with the previously staged Russian troops already in Belarus. Despite the fact that Ukraine’s counter-offensive is focused on the south of Ukraine (the most strategically relevant place) because Russia knows that if they take Kiev, the entire Ukrainian conflict is over.

Strategically, they’ve been fighting in the Ukranian south because it’s where the Russians have the land bridge and can establish strategic dominance between Crimea and the multiple port cities leading all the way over through the Black Sea. Albeit, the Russians also know from a strategic point of view that if they take Kiev in one swoop- they will dominate the center of government. This will essentially put the current Ukrainian government into a position where they must flee, while Russia takes control of the country.

Don’t be misled… What you’re seeing is Russia amidst a power grab for control intrinsically. Remember that we’re in the middle of a giant information war and there are very few countries in the world as adept at leveraging information warfare as the Russians. Lest we forget, the Russians were the ones who trained the Ukrainians during the Soviet years and the Ukrainians have actually become even better at information warfare than the Russians over the past three decades.

The biggest takeaway here is to never mistake news headlines for being factual or being complete sources of information. Instead, remember that conflict is always evolving and there’s always an angle to any kind of information that you’re being fed. Whether that strategic end is propagated by news sources who need you to read and click on their headlines because it increases their advertising profits or whether it’s something actually led by governments because they want to mislead public opinion, turning our attention away from what is really going on behind the scenes.

Right now, everybody’s very focused on whether there’s going to be an uprising inside Russia… No there is not! This whole Russian coup was a hoax and in reality was a show of allegiance and alliance from multiple Regional Governors within Russia as well as senior government officials as part of the Wagner Group.

If you haven’t already started asking yourself these questions, then maybe you should. Was this whole Russian coup hoax orchestrated? Was the entire Wagner Group counter-offensive actually against Russia? Was the whole Putin and Prigozhin argument all just staged?

When you look at the scenario through a lens of covert influence and information warfare, it certainly seems like Russia has made a gigantic strategic victory here because the world now sees Russia more united than ever before.

Russia and the United States and the West are now watching as 25,000 mercenaries are redeployed into Belarus. This was peacefully orchestrated between two strong presidents and the leader of a mercenary group. Ironically, if this sounds like it should be the plot line for some sort of action movie, it certainly could be. Nowhere in the civilized world would anyone anticipate that a real peace deal or conflict resolution would be negotiated by two authoritarian strongmen and the leader of an army of mercenaries.

After taking a few steps back to observe the scope of this entire scenario, it makes you scratch your head and wonder what is really going on… What covert happenings are right in plain sight but hidden from everyone?

So keep your eyes on this fast-breaking development because I’m willing to bet that the media all but ignores and forgets that this whole thing happened. Meanwhile, in real time there’s a giant contingent of troops moving into Belarus to support and align themselves with existing Russian troops that are already there. Likewise, this will put additional pressure on the Ukrainian government who’s trying to focus on an offensive or counter-offensive move in the south, while the north is left wide open.

With that said, it’s important to remember the counter-offensive that the Ukrainians first launched in September of 2022 eerily looks identical to what we’re seeing now. The Ukrainian counter-offensive was focused on the south but then pivoted to launch another counter-offensive in the north, spreading their forces very thin. Interestingly, now we’re seeing Russia do the same thing. They are focusing everyone’s attention on the south while they strategically redeploy forces to the north.

Noteworthy: Russia and Ukraine are two strong countries with a long history of information warfare and strategic misinformation peddling. Incidentally, we are the ones betwixt in misinformation deployed and used to shape public opinion of the battlefield.

That’s all for now! Thanks for tuning in to my take on Intel for Investors!