UPDATED: NZ’s PRC Trade Balancing Act + Russia in the wake of Prigozhin’s ‘Pronouncement’

Selwyn Manning and Paul G Buchanan deliver their podcast, A View from Afar. This episode: the NZ-PRC Balancing Act and Russia after Prigozhin's Challenge.


In this the sixth episode of A View from Afar for 2023 political scientist Dr Paul G. Buchanan and Selwyn Manning present a two-part episode to analyse what to make of New Zealand Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins’ bilateral meetings with People’s Republic of China’s President Xi JinPing and other leaders of the PRC.

In part one, Paul and Selwyn also consider how the PRC-NZ trade relationship is seen in the eyes of New Zealand’s security partners.

Then, in the second half of today’s podcast, Paul and Selwyn analyse the most recent events in Russia – events that have taken shape since Wagner Commander Yevgeny Prigozhin’s pronounced intent to mobilise his mercenaries against the Russian Federation’s top two military heads, and, while doing so, pronounced that the Kremlin’s decision to invade Ukraine was based on falsehoods.

What should we expect next? What is the real state of Putinism? What do the political and power elites in Russia make of President Vladimir Putin’s handling of the matter?

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Weeks prior to this event happening inside Russia, Paul and Selwyn analysed the question: How stable is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hold on power? It’s a question that all those who watch Russian affairs have now been confronted with.

In this episode Paul and Selwyn unpack the complexity, look at what has changed as opposed to what has been said.


Paul and Selwyn encourage their live audience to interact while they are live with questions and comments.

To interact during the live recordings of this podcast, go to Youtube.com/c/EveningReport/

Remember to subscribe to the channel.

For the on-demand audience, you can also keep the conversation going on this debate by clicking on one of the social media channels below:

RECOGNITION: The MIL Network’s podcast A View from Afar was Nominated as a Top Defence Security Podcast by Threat.Technology – a London-based cyber security news publication. Threat.Technology placed A View from Afar at 9th in its 20 Best Defence Security Podcasts of 2021 category.

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  1. 1984

    We are at war with Eurasia, we have always been at war with Eurasia.
    We are not at war with Eurasia, we have never been at war with Eurasia.


    We are at war with the Wagner Group, we have always been at war with the Wagner Group.
    We are not at war with the Wagner Group, we have never been at war with the Wagner Group.

    Winston Smith of fiction:


    ….as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible…..
    …..Winston sank his arms to his sides and slowly refilled his lungs with air. His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself….

    Winston Smith becomes real:


    ….the propaganda machine is overridden by two contrasting images of the Wagner boss—one as a patriotic hero, and the other as a shadowy criminal.
    Even the most seasoned Kremlin propagandists had a hard time with the dizzying descent: from glorifying the “heroic deeds” of Prigozhin’s brutal fighters and his role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to portraying the Wagnerites and their leader as a bunch of convicts and unsavory characters…..
    …..One of Prigozhin’s main cheerleaders, host Vladimir Solovyov, went from praising the Wagnerites and participating in the filming of their commercials, to complaining that it took them over 200 days to take Bakhmut. He snapped back at his viewers for defending Prigozhin and angrily claimed that he could take Kyiv in three days. While condemning Prigozhin, Solovyov repeatedly urged the Wagnerites to officially join Russia’s dwindling armed forces.
    After the Kremlin’s revelation that President Putin met with Prigozhin just days after the failed mutiny, Solovyov again changed course at breakneck speed. During Monday’s broadcast of The Evening With Vladimir Solovyov, the host alleged that the group’s undisclosed location—(most of them are not eager to sign up for regular military service)—is all a part of Putin’s ingenious plan…..

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