Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee, said that Saturday's events in Russia showed that it does not take much to shake Russia to its core and force it to change its decisions. The real reasons for these events will become clear in due time.
"The picture is a complicated one," Mihkelson said on Vikerraadio Sunday morning.
"We have not see a chain of events like this for a very long time. As put by Putin in his Saturday address, the situation was comparable to 1917 until its culmination late on Saturday evening. I believe it was just one act in a series of developments. It is difficult to draw a final conclusion of what happened and how today."
Prigozhin moving to Belarus has to do with more than what Alexander Lukashenko wants as the Belarusian leader is not a sovereign ruler, Mihkelson opined. "Time will tell why he did it, who was behind it and what will be the end result," Mihkelson suggested.
"My initial analysis of what happened yesterday has to do with the position of Vladimir Putin and the FSB that put him in power. Before noon yesterday, their authority, whether they will manage to hold on to power was still in jeopardy. We can say that authority is safe for the moment this morning, while it has also been demonstrated that it does not take too much to shake that authority."
The politician added that it remains unclear who helped Prigozhin and Wagner columns to make such shift progress to reach position x where a deal was finally cut. "It demonstrated to the whole world that Putin's power is not ironclad and can be shaken from the inside."
"It is clear that nothing good can come of two criminals, war criminals like Putin and Prigozhin clashing. It would be naive to think it could lead to a democratic development in Russia. Those who thought Russia's dissolution started yesterday have also been forced to cool their jets. That said, yesterday showed that it does not take much to cause Russia to come undone domestically and force it to change its decision-making," Mihkelson reasoned.
Russian mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin on Friday evening accused Russian armed forces of attacking Wagner rear units which then entered Roston-on-Don in Russia Saturday. Russian authorities interpreted these actions as a call for a military coup and stepped up the readiness of internal military forces. Prigozhin claimed to control key buildings and the airport in Rostov-on-Don.
On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin in a televised address referred to Prigozhin's actions as a "knife in the back" and said that everyone rising up against the authorities will be punished. There have been reports of Russia having lost military aircraft to the march.
While Wagner troops moved on toward Moscow on Saturday, reaching Lipetsk and Moscow oblasts, Yevgeny Prigozhin said Saturday evening that Wagner has halted its March on Moscow. The mercenary boss said that his fighters will return to their bases to avoid bloodshed. A deal was apparently mediated by Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko that will see Prigozhin and his troops leave Russia and the former move to Belarus.
Editor: Marcus Turovski