Bad Faith, Russian Style

Wagner Group Mercenary in Eastern Ukraine

It looks like there’s plenty of instances of bad faith to go around. We have been hearing that the Wagner Group (Группа Вагнера) has been supplementing the Russian army in the Ukraine with its own conscripts, mostly recruited from Russian convicts serving time for crimes. Vladimir Putin probably figures that when his “Private Military Company” (PMC) gets ripped apart by the Ukrainian army, no one will shed any tears.

In the news today the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claims he has been “cut off” from ammunition by Putin. In fact, he claims that Putin now refuses to take his phone calls. I guess his force, which once numbered 50,000 fighters, is now considered expendable.

This is a significant development. There has been considerable friction between the Wagner forces and the regular Russian army. Does that mean that Vlady will now risk angering his supporters by sending their sons home in a box? That would not look good for him, even if the Russian man in the street claims to support him—at least in public. But what does that say about what they think of Putin in the privacy of their homes?