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Ritter Asserts, a Maidan Coup Attempt in Moscow Heightens Risk of Nuclear War

June 24, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, in a lengthy analysis published on his Scott Ritter Extra website today, concludes that PMC Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has attempted to stage a Maidan-style coup in Moscow on behalf of the Kiev regime and U.S. and British intelligence. “Prigozhin’s Gambit—Treason by Any Other Name,” is the headline. “Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind—Yevgeny Prigozhin has become a witting agent of Ukraine and the intelligence services of the collective West,” Ritter writes.

“And while there may be those within Wagner who have been unwittingly drawn into this act of high treason through deception and subterfuge, in the aftermath of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to the Russian nation on June 24, and Yevgeny Prigozhin’s impolitic reply, there can be no doubt that there are only two sides in this struggle—the side of constitutional legitimacy, and the side of unconstitutional treason and sedition. Anyone who continues to participate in Prigozhin’s coup has aligned themselves on the wrong side of the law and have themselves become outlaws.”

Ritter then goes into a long discussion of what might have motivated Prigozhin to behave the way he is now. It’s too long to summarize here, but suffice it to say that after making himself out to be a war hero in the battles of Bakhmut and Soledar, then falling into dispute with the Russian Defense Ministry, stemming from the legal gray zone that Wagner existed in after those battles were concluded, Prigozhin was seen in Kyiv and in the CIA and MI6 as a possible tool for the destabilization of Russia from within. This view was motivated by the failure of the wide array of economic sanctions and the military campaign in Ukraine to destabilize the country as the Western elites had been aiming for.

Ritter concludes by warning that the scheme to use Prigozhin as a tool for destabilization actually increases the danger of nuclear war. “But the critical point here isn’t Wagner’s treasonous behavior, but rather the fact that Russia’s enemies—in particular the British and American intelligence services—saw fit to facilitate a substantive armed insurrection designed to remove from power the government of a nuclear armed power.... Imagine, for a moment, the righteous ire that would be on display in the halls of Congress and within the walls of the White House if Russian intelligence had actively conspired to have an entity like Blackwater march on Washington, D.C. with the goal of removing President Biden from power.

“It would, some might say, constitute an act of war.

“Russian nuclear doctrine allows for Russia to use nuclear weapons when faced with an existential threat to the survival of the Russian state,” Ritter concludes. “If the CIA and MI6 were involved in the recruitment of Prigozhin with an eye toward facilitating Wagner’s march on Moscow, then they would have been directly engaged in an action that constituted an existential threat to Russia.

“Russia would, under its doctrine, have every right to use nuclear weapons in response.”

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