All of this event is as clear as mud! Only the fullness of time will bring clarity, if ever. Russia is a big country and to think it’s internal affairs are a simple matter to understand is a mistake. Big countries are complicated beasts!
What I see missing in all of these analyses (both for and against all of the players which list must include ALL of the players) is the deceptive hand of the Intelligence Operatives of EACH side. When things don’t make easy sense, and when “plain facts” just don’t add up, then suspect that the hand of Intelligence Operations are at work.
For example: If Prigozhin says that Russia attacked Wagner, but Russia says ithat it t did not attack Wagner then perhaps both of them are telling the truth. Perhaps CIA operatives or dupes within Russia’s military attacked Wagner to spark off a fight wherein Russians would kill Russians.
C’mon guys! Everybody here is an adult, right? Adults can accommodate into their thinking that MAYBE they don’t know the whole truth, and MAYBE they have themselves been deceived, and that there is always the longshot possibility (however remote it might be) that they are themselves just flat out mistaken or foolish.
Keep looking. Keep gathering facts. Be prepared to change your mind when PROVEN wrong, and change it back again when it turns out you were fooled in the first place.
My own personal estimate is that Russia “played” CIA ( AND Wagner, AND the guilty and innocent alike) like a violin in the hands of a virtuoso.
Why do I think that?
Answer: look at the present facts on the ground and the shape of the battlefield in all of its theaters. If that was “accidental” then Putin is more than lucky, he’s BLESSED.