Background Briefing: June 27, 2023


A Scathing Senate Report “Planned in Plain Sight” Compiles the Failures of the FBI, DHS and Capitol Police to Act on January 6 Warnings

We begin with the scathing report from the Senate Homeland Security Committee titled “Planned in Plain Sight” which investigated the failures of the FBI, DHS and Capitol Police in not acting on a host of warnings of a potential violent attack on the capitol. The report out today finds that “At a fundamental level, the agencies failed to fulfill their mission and connect the public and non-public information they received.” Joining us is Thomas Mockaitis, a Professor of History at DePaul University who has taught counter-terrorism courses for the past 13 years at venues around the world as part of the U.S. Department of Defense Counter-terrorism Fellowship Program. He is the author of 6 books including ‘New’ Terrorism: Myths and Reality and Violent Extremists: Understanding the Domestic and International Terrorist Threat.


Prigozhin’s Fate Now That He is in Belarus Without His Mercenary Army

Then we examine the fate of Prigozhin now that he has arrived in Belarus on his private jet and is holed up in a hotel without his mercenary army which may or may not show up in Belarus even though the dictator Lukashenko has offered to house Wagner mercenaries at an abandoned army base. Joining us is David Marples, the Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History & Classics at the University of Alberta where he teaches Russian and East European history and is a Research Fellow with the Contemporary Ukraine Program. He is also Honorary President of the Belarusian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Canada and is the author of seventeen books, the latest of which include Stalin: His Life and Works, The War in Ukraine’s Donbas, and Understanding Ukraine and Belarus.


Did Putin and Lukashenko Set Up a Gangster Style Trap For Prigozhin?

Then finally we speak with Dr. Tatsiana Kulakevich, a researcher on Eastern Europe born and raised in Belarus. She is a permanent instructor in Research Methods and Quantitative Analysis at the University of South Florida’s School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies and a research fellow and affiliated faculty at the University’s Institute on Russian, European and Eurasian Studies. She just returned from Ukraine and we assess whether in gangster fashion, Putin and Lukashenko set a trap for Prigozhin in Belarus, since the warlord may have been influenced in his decision to turn back 150 miles from Moscow by the FSB’s threats on his family and the families of Wagner commanders.