His analysis of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s recent public outburst is extremely poor. He doesn’t get it at all. Prigozhin has got the ammunitions he needs and Wagner is now continuing the battle. What Prigozhin was on about is that in recent days the Ukrainians have been firing more artillery in Bakhmut than Wagner could respond to. That situation has been resolved and Wagner are happily pushing forward.
The Russians mainly target military targets and war infrastructure, not “squarely on murdering civilians ” as Hartcher claims.That is pure propaganda.
If one examines what the Russians have hit since February 2022, the targets have been overwhelmingly military or war related infrastructure. This fact is clear to see. Of course, war is a messy business and in wartime, civilians can be struck, but in this case, whether that is deliberate or accidental is another matter.
Hartcher claims “as far as we know Ukrainian forces do not target civilians “. What nonsense Hartcher writes. To use the language of Prigozhin, where the fuck has Hartcher been since 2014? The Ukranian military has been targeting civilians in the Donbass for over eight years, and there have been daily reports of civilians in the Donbass being killed by the Ukranians since early 2022. Schools and kindergartens have been bombed as well residential buildings. Hartcher is either ignorant, delusional, or a 100 percent certified propagandist.
Has Putin’s war been a grave strategic error? Not according to the Russians and many American military and political analysts. For instance, Colonel Douglas Macgregor, Robert Kennedy and others have said this war has been a grave strategic error for the US and the West. Only time will reveal the truth but Macgregor, Kennedy and likeminded analysts are better informed and less propagandistic than Hartcher.
The value for Russia of the Wagner group as a private military force is that they can operate outside of the law in the same way the US used the Blackwater private military company in Afghanistan to operate outside of the law. Mercenaries have been used by rulers and governments since ancient times, from ancient Greece to medieval Japan right up to 21st century when the Americans began using private military forces to operate outside of the law, and the Russians have followed their example.
Those serving in the Russian military – army, airforce and navy – including Russians recently conscripted, cannot operate outside the law. They must adhere to the codes of conduct adopted in times of war.
The issue of mercenaries and immorality has been mulled over since ancient times, particularly among philosophers like Machiavelli who has written on the subject. Trying to shame the Wagner is useless when you understand how mercenaries have been used by rulers and governments for thousands of years. When the war in Ukraine ends, other governments including Western governments will continue to use mercenaries.