The chaos unfolding in Russia represents a serious crisis for Vladimir Putin's regime and its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. It also illustrates once again how illegitimate the invasion of Ukraine is as a Russian agenda.
The fact that a mercenary army, called Wagner Group, now appeared to confront the Russian army shows why Ukraine must never be occupied by Moscow. Ukrainians have a right not to have to be ruled by either a foreign army or mercenary contractors.
The crisis also illustrates the danger the war poses to the world.
Nuclear weapons risk falling into dubious hands
Chaos in Moscow or a civil conflict could lead to worse casualties and also put in danger the nuclear weapons that Russia possesses.
If Putin falls from power who will take over? Will the Wagner Group, officially known as PMC Wagner and its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin actually come to control Moscow?
On the other hand, if Wagner loses, will Putin become even more suspicious and concentrate power? If Putin becomes more extreme how much will this harm average Russians and Ukrainians? These are key questions that the chaos in Russia poses.
How should Ukraine, West react to the Russian rebellion?
In addition, there is a question about how best the West and Ukraine should react.
Clearly, the crisis means that Ukraine’s cause is just. It is a democratic state that is now up against mercenaries and the Russian army and Donbas separatist militias and others.
Israel must take caution in this as well. It must observe closely what is happening but the crisis is not likely an opportunity. Instead, it could affect Syria, and it could affect how Iran seeks to entrench in Syria and then exploit that to threaten Israel. Iran has already been seeking to threaten Israel and increase those threats by encouraging attacks in Jenin and also developing new weapons like hypersonic missiles. The conflict in Russia could let Iran feel it has a window to carry out more attacks or step into any vacuum in Syria left by Russian withdrawal.