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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Lin Biao welcomes Prigozhin to the club

From the Wikipedia entry for Lin Biao:

Lin became instrumental in creating the foundations for Mao Zedong’s cult of personality in the early 1960s, and was rewarded for his service in the Cultural Revolution by being named Mao’s designated successor as the sole Vice Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, from 1966 until his death.

Lin died on 13 September 1971, when a Hawker Siddeley Trident he was aboard crashed in Öndörkhaan in Mongolia. The exact events of this “Lin Biao incident” have been a source of speculation ever since. The Chinese government’s official explanation is that Lin and his family attempted to flee following a botched coup against Mao.

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin presumed dead after Russia plane crash – BBC

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list of a jet which crashed killing all on board, Russia’s civil aviation authority has said.

Earlier, Wagner-linked Telegram channel Grey Zone reported that the private plane, which belonged to the 62-year-old, was shot down by air defences.

Grey Zone posted later on Wednesday that Prigozhin died “as a result of actions of traitors of Russia”.

Prigozhin led a failed mutiny against the Russian armed forces in June.

19 comments to Lin Biao welcomes Prigozhin to the club

  • djm

    Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list of a jet which crashed killing all on board.

    On the passenger list

    But now enroute to an agreeable retirement in the West Indies

  • Spence

    At least he avoided falling from a high window.

  • bobby b

    As we speak, Biden is trying to buy Trump a jet.

  • Kirk

    If you take any of this that’s been going on since 24 February 2022 at face value…?

    I’d like to have a chat with you. See, there’s this bridge in New York that’s for sale, with a possible option on the Eiffel Tower in Paris…

    No idea what the hell is going on, at this point. I’d be shocked if anyone outside of the inner circles in Russia at the moment have any better an idea than I have. Hell, Putin himself may not even know… It’s entirely possible that someone in the Russian military did this on their own, as retribution for those pilots and crew that Prigozin’s boys shot down a few months ago.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Putin is not a mystery — but there are mysteries in Russia.

    One of them is how Prigozhin managed to get so close to Moscow back then.

    Another one is how he could be deceived to get on that plane. Assuming that he was.

  • You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh 😉

  • Patrick Crozier

    Two months ago I tweeted that Prigozhin would be dead in a month. It’s great when you’re only 100% out.

  • bobby b

    So, do the remaining Wagner people have sufficient control of their troops to keep the war going? I can’t imagine that’s a happy group today.

  • Kirk

    Wagner has been a front for the FSB and Putin since their founding. They witnessed the way that the US was using Blackwater, and decided to get them some of their own deniable “Private Military Contractors”. This worked out fairly well, but anyone that thinks that Wagner was ever anything other than a tool of the Putinists, they’re delusional.

    What’s going on with regards to all this? Ain’t nobody outside Putin’s inner circle knows. I have no idea; I thought I kinda did, back in June, but now? LOL… This is ‘effing nuts. A farce of the highest order, and what is actually going on behind the scenes? Anyone that tells you they know anything at all about this is nuts.

    I just can’t see Prigozin getting on an aircraft with Utkin. Not willingly, and if they were flying together? That’s just crazy; no rational person would put all of the leadership of Wagner onto the same aircraft at the same time, allowing a decapitation. Unless they were already dead, and this is just a facade. And, from the indicators, Prigozin was already back in with Putin, having been given all his confiscated stuff back… This latest deal? Wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see Prigozin and Utkin resurface somewhere in Africa in blackface…

    Putin’s Russia edges ever nearer tragicomedy. Farcical tragicomedy, at that. You literally could not possibly sell this stuff as a novel; the readers would lynch your ass for lack of realism.

  • Steven R

    Maybe we’ll get a semi-sequel to The Death Of Stalin out of all of this. Steve Buscemi as Putin would be as good as when he did Khrushchev

  • Mr Ed

    djm’s take on it is certainly a strong and intriguing possibility, albeit I would put him a bit further north in Cuba, giving them some more hard currency from his spending and a potentially useful trainer. But what does Putin gain from keeping such a deal?

    So much easier to agree to plan A (the James Bond villain style disappearance) and then shoot down the second plane instead, so much more amusing for the PTB in a Ming-The-Merciless moment.

  • Jacob

    Hadn’t Prigozhyn heard about the president of Poland?

  • Mr Ed


    Thank you for not letting that slip down the memory hole. However, that crash was under the previous President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev.

  • Snorri Godhi

    However, that crash was under the previous President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev.

    True — but remember that, when Obama met Medvedev (in 2012, or perhaps 2011) he did not tell him that after re-election he would be more flexible: he told him *to tell Vlad* that after re-election he would be more flexible.

    Obama knew who was in charge.

  • Kirk

    The more that comes out of this, the more it looks like a staged set-up.

    Per someone over on the site formerly known as Twitter: “Relatives of #Prigozhin’s flight attendant Kristina Raspopova, with reference to her words, said about strange manipulations with the plane before the last flight. It was taken away for some short-term and incomprehensible repairs.”

    What, do you suppose, are the odds that Prigozin would be so stupid as to get on an aircraft that had been subject to such “short-term and incomprehensible repairs” with the rest of Wagner’s leadership cadre? Does this pass the smell test, for you?

    If the flight attendant noticed it, then Prigozin’s security should have noticed it. These guys aren’t feckless sheep who’d no experience of Russian politics and infighting. Hell, they’ve taken part in numerous such “operations” themselves, sooooo? Yeah? Does this make sense, at all? They all just get on a plane, and it gets shot down/blows up/suffers “mechanical failure”?

    No idea what the hell actually happened, but I’m not buying the narrative they’re selling. At. All.

  • I’m with @Kirk. If Prigozhin and Utkin were both on that plane together then they weren’t still breathing. Probably killed a while ago and just defrosted in time for the flight.

  • Kirk

    Either that, or it’s a put-up job. I still have my doubts about the so-called “March on Moscow”, and I wonder if that wasn’t another example of Mao’s “Let a thousand flowers bloom” line of BS… Get the dissidents to self-identify, then eliminate them after they incriminated themselves.

    Surovikin managed to self-terminate his career by coming out for Prigozin, along with others. See for example all the unit commanders and soldiers who “rallied” for Wagner during the “March”.

    Wait and see. I would not be surprised at all to see Prigozin surface somewhere else, later on. Could well be that he played Putin and he’s not actually dead, but is somewhere else having faked his death so he’d be safe.

    There’s no telling with any of this. Does it make a damn bit of sense that Putin would have gone to his hot-dog vendor for professional military services, in the first damn place…?

  • GregWA

    So, the BBC headline should have been “Russian plane crash: Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin allegedly on board, so presumed dead, but no body recovered”

    Sub-headline, “Crash examiner notes ‘in what remains of the fuselage, there are a much larger number of bullet holes than I’m used to seeing in Russian plane crashes'”

  • Paul Marks.

    Prigozhin was a murderer – and-so-on. But he was not a coward – he did not sit hundreds of miles behind the lines ordering conscripts into battle (as Mr Putin does), Prigozhin was often near the front living in a tent (so far from his luxury home back in Saint Petersburg) personally commanding his men.

    That spoke to many Russians – which is why they called out “Wagner! Wagner!” and “Prigozhin!” when he or his forces passed by – without any of the organisation that Mr Putin has to do to get people to call out in support of him.

    Mr Putin looks worse and worse – his yellow streak, his cowardly treachery, more and more obvious.

    There is a point where contempt overcomes fear – where one despises a ruler so much that one’s anger overcomes one’s fear. Mr Putin may find this out soon.