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How Putin enabled the Wagner revolt

Posted on AllSides June 24th, 2023
From The Center
Stringer/AFP via Getty Images

Why do Russia’s wars always start with disaster? The answer is straightforward: because the autocrats who rule Russia — be they Tsars (with the exception of Napoleon’s nemesis Alexander I), Joseph Stalin or Vladimir Putin — appoint obedient toadies sadly lacking in military talent to command their forces.

And none is more out-of-his-depth than Sergei Shoigu, Putin’s minister of defence. Shoigu studied engineering and skipped military service altogether. Nonetheless, he was rapidly promoted to full general and then minister of defence by Putin because of his uncritical loyalty, which was...

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