His allies – such as China – knew they could rely on his authority and control over his country and the satellite states of the former Soviet Union.
His enemies, like the West, looked for weakness but found none.
But on June 2 , the Kremlin hero saw his authority and strong image challenged in a matter of hours by a man who had long been his ally.
Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, head of the militia Wagner Group, led a spectacular 2 -hour uprising against Russian military power. After taking control of the city of Rostov-on-Don, a strategic base for the Russian army’s operations in Ukraine, his men marched on Moscow, raising fears of the fall of Putin.
to an agreement
In audio and video messages, Prigozhin defied the Russian military, whose leadership and actions, especially the strategy of the war in Ukraine, he criticized.
The closer Wagner’s troops got to Moscow, the fainter the specter of a bloody civil war grew. But then there was a turn as great as the rebellion.
Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Putin, managed to find a compromise between the Russian president and Prigozhin.
The latter went to Belarus and the criminal charges brought against him in Moscow were rejected, while Wagner’s soldiers were acquitted of the entire sentence.
The agreement was made to «avoid bloodshed, avoid internal confrontation, avoid clashes with unpredictable consequences,» Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
But for many geopolitical experts, this arrangement has a huge impact on the position of Putin, who has created an image of authority.
They believe that the impunity for the rebellion that challenged his rule suggests that the Russian president may no longer be the undisputed master of his country.
Global CEO Elon Musk, who has significantly aided Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia, is equally pessimistic.
«The die is cast»
For the founder of SpaceX, whose Starlink product is the only communication system for Ukrainian troops on the front, the story ends with this agreement between Putin and Prigozhin.
More developments are likely to come.
In addition, other episodes similar to the Wagner rebellion can be expected in Russia. «This Russian military coup plan is worse than Game of Thrones ending,» said Billy Markus, founder of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency, with which Musk frequently interacts on Twitter.