Explosion in Front of Military Convoy on M4 Highway in Russia

This video shows an explosion occurring in from of a military convoy. According to the source, these vehicles are associated with Wagner PMC, and they are on the M4 highway between Rostov and Moscow. The exact location is known, the identity of the military unit is not verified, and the nature of the explosion is unknown – it could be an IED, an artillery round, or a rocket strike. The original post asserts that the vehicles are Wagner PMC vehicles on their way to Moscow.


The last twenty-four hours has witnessed the relationship between Wagner PMC head Yevgeny Prigozhin and the generals atop the Russian Ministry of Defense devolve from sniping on social media to open military conflict. In the past, Putin has been content to let his vassals squabble as long as certain lines were not crossed, but these developments have caused him to directly address the situation, calling the “armed rebellion” a betrayal, and vowing harsh punishment. Events unfolded rapidly and continue to develop, with claims by Prigozhin of Russian military attacks on Wagner forces; Wagner forces purportedly capturing the headquarters of the Russian Southern Military District in Rostov; rumors of Rosgvardiya and Russian Army soldiers refusing to intervene or defecting and joining Wagner units; indications of Chechen Kadyrovite forces moving to interdict Wagner opposition forces; and reports of Wagner opposition forces advancing towards Moscow. The situation is confused and developing rapidly, and social media is flooded with rumor, conjecture, misinformation, wishful thinking, and downright nonsense. Within the cacophony can be found notes of truth.


In the short term, this could prove hugely beneficial to the Ukrainian army. Rostov on Don lies two hundred kilometers behind the front lines, and, as home of the headquarters for the Southern Military District, is a critical command and control and logistics hub for the Russian Army. This chaos will disrupt the support provided to frontline Russian troops. Additionally, Russian units diverted to interdict Wagner will denude the Russian defensive front of reserves. The Ukrainians will take advantage of this development and attempt to break through Russian lines, and once a breakthrough is achieved, Ukrainian brigades held in reserve can punch through the breach, outflank the Russian defensive lines, and seize operational objectives in the Russian rear. An immediate risk for the Ukrainians is that a desperate Putin, or one of his subordinates, will order sabotage of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.


The situation is Russia is uncertain. The distance from Rostov to Moscow is about 1,100 kilometers, and it is likely that Wagner opposition forces will be interdicted by Russian air and land forces before reaching their destination, meaning that this revolt might be stamped out in short order. Of course, if the Wagner information campaign is even partly successful, then the defection of Russian units or even a refusal to follow orders could facilitate Wagner efforts. Even if Wagner units reach Moscow, the victory would be purely political as Putin would not be there when they arrive. Any predictions about the future beyond that point go beyond speculation and into the realm of wild guesswork. Two things are certain. First, that Prigozhin is more militant than Putin, and his ascension would not bring peace. Second, a destabilized former superpower with six thousand nukes up for grabs is a scary thought.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

Published 11 months ago

This video shows an explosion occurring in from of a military convoy. According to the source, these vehicles are associated with Wagner PMC, and they are on the M4 highway between Rostov and Moscow. The exact location is known, the identity of the military unit is not verified, and the nature of the explosion is unknown – it could be an IED, an artillery round, or a rocket strike. The original post asserts that the vehicles are Wagner PMC vehicles on their way to Moscow.


The last twenty-four hours has witnessed the relationship between Wagner PMC head Yevgeny Prigozhin and the generals atop the Russian Ministry of Defense devolve from sniping on social media to open military conflict. In the past, Putin has been content to let his vassals squabble as long as certain lines were not crossed, but these developments have caused him to directly address the situation, calling the “armed rebellion” a betrayal, and vowing harsh punishment. Events unfolded rapidly and continue to develop, with claims by Prigozhin of Russian military attacks on Wagner forces; Wagner forces purportedly capturing the headquarters of the Russian Southern Military District in Rostov; rumors of Rosgvardiya and Russian Army soldiers refusing to intervene or defecting and joining Wagner units; indications of Chechen Kadyrovite forces moving to interdict Wagner opposition forces; and reports of Wagner opposition forces advancing towards Moscow. The situation is confused and developing rapidly, and social media is flooded with rumor, conjecture, misinformation, wishful thinking, and downright nonsense. Within the cacophony can be found notes of truth.


In the short term, this could prove hugely beneficial to the Ukrainian army. Rostov on Don lies two hundred kilometers behind the front lines, and, as home of the headquarters for the Southern Military District, is a critical command and control and logistics hub for the Russian Army. This chaos will disrupt the support provided to frontline Russian troops. Additionally, Russian units diverted to interdict Wagner will denude the Russian defensive front of reserves. The Ukrainians will take advantage of this development and attempt to break through Russian lines, and once a breakthrough is achieved, Ukrainian brigades held in reserve can punch through the breach, outflank the Russian defensive lines, and seize operational objectives in the Russian rear. An immediate risk for the Ukrainians is that a desperate Putin, or one of his subordinates, will order sabotage of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.


The situation is Russia is uncertain. The distance from Rostov to Moscow is about 1,100 kilometers, and it is likely that Wagner opposition forces will be interdicted by Russian air and land forces before reaching their destination, meaning that this revolt might be stamped out in short order. Of course, if the Wagner information campaign is even partly successful, then the defection of Russian units or even a refusal to follow orders could facilitate Wagner efforts. Even if Wagner units reach Moscow, the victory would be purely political as Putin would not be there when they arrive. Any predictions about the future beyond that point go beyond speculation and into the realm of wild guesswork. Two things are certain. First, that Prigozhin is more militant than Putin, and his ascension would not bring peace. Second, a destabilized former superpower with six thousand nukes up for grabs is a scary thought.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

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