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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Putin Is Caught in His Own Trap

Putin Is Caught in His Own Trap

After spending years cultivating public apathy, the Russian president found his people indifferent to his fate.

By Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic

The Wagner Group mercenaries marched 800 kilometers across Russia, shot down planes and helicopters, took over a regional military command, provoked a panic in Moscow—troops dug trenches; the mayor told everyone to stay home—and then stood down. Yet in a way, the strangest aspect of Saturday’s aborted coup was the reaction of the people of Rostov-on-Don, including the city’s military leaders, to the soldiers who arrived and declared themselves to be their new rulers.

The Wagner mercenaries showed up in the city early Saturday morning. They met no resistance. Nobody shot at them. One photograph, published by The New York Times, shows them walking at a leisurely pace across a street, one of their tanks in the background, holding yellow coffee cups.

Keep reading (no paywall)

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