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You Mess with the Bear, You Get the Claw

This is barely news, in the sense that approximately 100% of the planet knew it was coming. Since he led a semi-rebellion against Vladimir Putin's administration, Wagner mercenary group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin has been a dead man walking. He knew enough not to drink any tea put before him, nor to get too close to any 10th-story windows. It would seem that his precautions did not preclude boarding an airplane, however. His plane was shot down, and the tail may also have exploded, due to a bomb, before the gunfire hit. Either way, the plane crashed and Prigozhin and everyone else on board was killed.

Although Prigozhin's death is big news, it doesn't change anything in Ukraine, as the White House noted yesterday. Prigozhin was out of power, and his failure taught other would-be rebels not to try their chances. The Wagner group will continue, but under more loyal leadership, while at the same time conducting operations much farther away from Moscow. And Putin remains in power, at least for now. (Z)

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