AlphaMetroid t1_j60ogys wrote

Wagner is Putin's special 'plausible deniability' unit. In the past they filled the role of Russia's military when it was too inflammatory to send official Russian military units somewhere. They would do the dirty work that would otherwise put a very negative spotlight on Russia's foreign policy and Putin could pretend to not be responsible because they're just an independent mercenary group.

In this case, Putin has dropped all pretenses of acting like they're unaffiliated. However, they're still technically separate from Russia's military and have their own separate command structure. While they fight with the same goal as the Russian military (taking ukraine) and they still answer to Putin, them being a separate entity has led to a lot of competition with the official Russian military.

To answer your question, 'Putin's Chef' is not a secret leader of the Russian military, he's just the leader of Wagner. Thanks to Putin's cronyism and tendency to favor his friends, Prigozhin has aspirations of outshining the official Russian military overseen by Defence Minister Shoigu. The reason it gets so confusing is because what Putin has essentially done is taken the Russian defence budget and split it between the official military and the 'unaffiliated' military and put two different cronies in charge. Then he sent conscripts (civilian and criminal alike) to join the official military and allowed Wagner to privately recruit mercenaries from the remaining population to avoid too big of a draft during their 'limited mobilization' last fall.


AlphaMetroid t1_j24b8em wrote

Not sure why this limits the growth of nuclear. It was limited before due to the high startup cost relative to existing fossil fuel energy, the incentive was the military applications. Now our priorities are different, the incentive is climate change and the funding has expanded considerably. And the military applications are still present.


AlphaMetroid t1_ivfz5cz wrote