Russians Support Wagner, Actually

Let’s dispel the rumor that anybody likes Shoigu.

Jun 26, 2023

The headline says it all. I spent the last 2+ days in Russian chats, interacting with Russians, writing to people in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Siberia. The vast majority of everyone, even if they themselves don’t support Wagner, or are wisely afraid to do so, publicly, acknowledge that Wagner’s popularity improved after the Moscow SMO.

Anyone who claims the opposite is lying to you and cannot prove his views unlike myself, who shouldn’t even have to at this point because of how stellar my reputation is, but will do so anyways. They also don’t understand basic heuristics related to the group psyche of the people and how populism taps into it.

Here is why Wagner “won” in the battle for perception and popularity in Russia:

  • Shoigu is a Tuvan gangster who hates Russians and participated in ethnic cleansing of Russians (or at least did not intervene) in the 90s in Tuva.
  • Russians are sick of racial aliens lording over them and their government being run by people who look like they ought to be running a fruit stall at the bazaar
  • Prigozhin’s critiques of the Kremlin found fertile ground, they have been around for decades and the distaste for the government has only been growing
  • Wagner is rightly seen as the only effective fighting force in Russia; they are bathed in a halo of cool and victory and Russianness because of their actions in Syria and Donbass
  • People like audaciousness and boldness and shows of strength, which the Wagner mutiny had in spades
  • The Kremlin looked weak and retarded, which people instinctively hate
  • Russians are in disbelief and shock that their government could have let the situation spiral into a war with fraternal, blood-related Ukraine in the first place
  • Russians are in disbelief and shock that their government is unable to win against Ukraine
  • Russians are in disbelief and shock that their government appears to be losing the war slowly but surely

The people who are telling you otherwise, that Wagner has lost its popularity or is hated by the Russian population, are lying to you through their teeth.


Categories: Geopolitics

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