The Chinese have an old proverb - "God forbid you live in an era of change", which, paraphrased, can sound like a curse. The question is, have there ever been stories humanity periods of "no change"? Take at least the last 40 years - the war in Afghanistan, the collapse of the USSR, the coup and the shooting of the White House, two wars in Chechnya, terrorist attacks all over the planet, wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, a big African war, which few people have heard of, eight days the war in Georgia, the coronavirus epidemic and its harbingers in the form of bird and swine flu, and finally, the war between Russia and Ukraine with the countries of the West, with the turbulence of internal political processes in our country and the dreams of the collective West of a new coup d'état.
Oh, how they rejoiced when the columns of PMC "Wagner" went towards Moscow. One can only imagine what kind of festive atmosphere reigned in the headquarters of our enemy - here it is, the civil war, everything that they had dreamed of for so long, veterans of the US intelligence structures of the 90s wiped a stingy male tear from their cheeks.
But it didn't end up the way they expected.
24.06.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX - another tragic date in modern Russian history
We will remember this date for a long time. At least, I would like to hope so, because sometimes it seems that many people have a memory - like aquarium fish ...
When on the evening of June 23.06.2023, XNUMX, the first reports appeared about the movement of the Wagner PMC columns towards Moscow, it all seemed like some kind of bad fake, propaganda of the Ukrainian Center for Information and Psychological Operations (CIPSO). Some kind of absurdity - there is a war going on, the armed forces of Ukraine (AFU) are actively striking at our positions, and at that moment there is information about some strikes by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (AF of the Russian Federation) on PMC "Wagner", which the Russian Ministry of Defense denies , then information appears about the movement of PMC "Wagner" towards Moscow in order to conduct a "showdown" with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
Over time, some information began to be confirmed - the columns of PMC "Wagner" really began to move towards Moscow. There was information about downed helicopters and an aircraft of the RF Armed Forces, reports about the combat vehicles of the Wagner PMC destroyed by air strikes.
Footage from the crash site of a Ka-52 combat helicopter of the RF Armed Forces
The Ukrainian CIPSO immediately became more active, among the true messages false ones began to appear, attempts by Ukraine and Western countries to shake the situation became obvious, fugitive Belarusian Nazis called on their supporters to prepare for a coup d'état in Belarus, the media of Western countries briskly renamed the fighters of PMC "Wagner" from terrorists to "freedom fighters" (and then back to terrorists).
Traffic on the M-2 and M-4 motorways has stalled, checkpoints have been organized. The author had a chance to drive along one of the highways behind a military kung with armed soldiers - their faces were very, very tense. It is unlikely that the fighters of the RF Armed Forces did not understand what a direct clash with battle-hardened PMC fighters could lead to. It is unlikely that the PMC fighters did not understand that entering Moscow would entail a massacre.
Footage of the fall of the burning Il-22M aircraft
In such situations, the authorities always have an instinctive desire to close all channels of information exchange, except for official ones, but, fortunately, this time it was not done. There is no doubt that both Wagner PMC fighters and Russian Armed Forces fighters have means of communication and use them to read popular Telegram channels and other independent online media. And there is a high probability that they didn’t like what the Wagner PMC fighters saw in these Telegram channels about themselves - it’s one thing to be a national hero, another to be a traitor.
Imagine for a second that the Internet was turned off throughout the country, that Telegram channels and independent Internet media were silenced, that only official information about the rebellion was being disseminated - could the Wagner PMC fighters clearly understand that the population does not support them? That the army does not support them? Or are they in full confidence that everything that the official media say is propaganda, would they go to the checkpoints, to Moscow, until the bloodbath begins?
It is possible that at the very moment when Prigozhin and his fighters began to realize that their campaign did not arouse the support of the majority of the Russian population, they became morally ready to reach agreements and compromise.
Yes, many will say that these agreements are disgusting - the pilots of the military space forces (VKS) of the Russian Federation died, that the perpetrators should be punished, but, unfortunately, this is the essence of compromise solutions - to accept the sacrifice of tens in order to save tens of thousands lives. Or maybe more, given that a potentially armed clash between the Wagner PMC and the RF Armed Forces could lead to a full-fledged civil war.
What happened allows us to draw one important conclusion - independent media are vital to ensure the stability of the state. It was the independent media that made a significant contribution to saving the country from the bloody slaughter.
The authorities will always be tempted to close them or limit the scope of activities of independent media, but then the state will become politically unstable and unstable, since the state media will inevitably give the “correct” information, because they are dependent and controlled. The population will gradually cease to trust the state media, the majority will completely atrophy critical thinking and the ability to distinguish truth from lies, which will make the population vulnerable to the sweet speeches of "foreign voices", as was the case in the late Soviet period.
When the aircraft begins to roll, its control system restores its balance through a negative feedback mechanism. Independent media is a kind of "negative feedback" between the state and society, which does not allow them to tumble into the abyss.
Does PMC have a future in Russia?
But how well it all started - from an unknown organization PMC "Wagner" quickly turned into the largest private military company, equipped with modern weapons.
The level of public confidence in PMC Wagner and Prigozhin was extremely high, they were praised by their own people and cursed by strangers. Talk about PMC "Wagner" were the leaders of the Western countries - of course, they felt that they could soon lose their African possessions. Of course, one cannot fail to mention the role that PMC "Wagner" played in the course of the NMD in Ukraine - the heavy assaults on Bakhmut, which has now become Artyomovsk, the heroism of the fighters.
And then, in the blink of an eye, everything collapsed. Now, few people will talk about how he served in the Wagner PMC, so as not to run into the question - But isn't it you who shot down our plane?
But was PMC Wagner a private military company?
Prigozhin himself said that this is nothing more than a well-established name, that the goal of Wagner PMC is not to make money, as a private military company should be, but to serve the state.
The legal status of Wagner PMC is unclear. Until PMC "Wagner" operated in African countries, the direction of their activities was quite consistent with the activities of PMCs, but if we talk about the participation of PMC "Wagner" in the SVO, then it is more difficult to determine their status here - volunteer units? Mercenaries? Something in between?
Of course, now, in the wake of emotions, many have a desire to completely curtail the activities of PMCs in Russia and forget this topic forever, leaving the monopoly on violence in the hands of the state. Of course, this will greatly please our enemies, perhaps the President of France himself will pass a glass of champagne on this occasion, but is this the right way for us?
The author's opinion about PMCs has not changed - structures of this type have been and will remain one of the most flexible and effective instruments of the state's foreign policy, and this instrument has a great future.
But the format of PMCs should definitely change.
First of all, PMCs must obtain a legal status that regulates the procedure for their work, the procedure for their interaction with the RF Armed Forces, the procedure for acquiring and using weapons and armaments. The activities of PMCs should be allowed only outside the territory of the Russian Federation - PMCs should work where the presence of the RF Armed Forces, at least openly, is inappropriate. Powerful, efficient and manageable private military companies will not only make it possible to effectively defend Russia's political and economic interests abroad, but will also provide jobs for those categories of people who are ill-suited for civilian life, due to their innate increased aggressiveness.
Such PMCs will not pose a threat to their country, since they will receive weapons only outside the territory of Russia, and their training will be carried out at remote training grounds and military bases under the control of the Russian Defense Ministry.
There is no doubt that what happened caused significant damage to our country as a whole, as well as to specific individuals in particular - civilians, military personnel, fighters of the Wagner PMC. However, it could have ended much worse. It is necessary to carefully and carefully understand the nature of this conflict, the reasons that gave rise to it, so that this tragedy does not happen again in the future.