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UK intelligence reveals change in Russian media rhetoric on Wagner Group's mutiny

Sunday, 9 July 2023, 09:22

UK Defence Intelligence has analysed the coverage of the armed rebellion by Wagner's mercenaries by Russian state-owned media.

Source: UK Ministry of Defence update on 9 July

Details: As the UK Ministry of Defence has stated, the change in rhetoric in the Russian state-owned and pro-governmental media has taken place in three stages.


For example, firstly the Russian media were surprised by the mutiny and were not prepared for it, and Russian television adhered to its usual broadcasting schedule.

After the rebellion was stopped, Russian state media tried to "correct" the accusations of the passivity of the security forces.

Russian media outlets were broadcasting narratives that President Vladimir Putin had won by preventing the rebellion and avoiding bloodshed. Russian media also tried to unite the country around Putin.

A week after the mutiny, the media began to downplay the importance of Wagner's owner Yevgeny Prigozhin and the mutiny, while trying to discredit his personality.

The intelligence service added that Wagner's Telegram channels had largely gone silent, almost certainly due to state intervention. In contrast, Putin has taken on an unusually large amount of public responsibility in order to demonstrate his power.


  • By agreement with self-proclaimed Belarusian President Lukashenko, Prigozhin and some of his mercenaries were to travel to Belarus after the attempted coup in Russia.
  • According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, only a small part of the Wagnerites went to Belarus.

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