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WorldAsiaWhat is the probability of a successful coup. Experience from different countries

What is the probability of a successful coup. Experience from different countries

On June 23, Yevgeny Prigozhin, due to a conflict with the Ministry of Defense, led columns of Wagner PMC fighters towards Moscow. It was the biggest challenge to the Russian state since at least the 1990s, but full-scale clashes were averted. The rebellion ended after negotiations between the authorities and Prigozhin, mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Have there been attempts to seize power by force in the recent history of Russia, in which countries coups d’etat most often occur and what is the probability of their success – in the material Russian media.

1. Military coups have been successful about half the time

Of the 420 attempts at armed takeover from 1950 to 2023, 207 or 49% succeeded. This stems from the calculations of the Russian media based on statistics, collection political scientists Holger Albrecht, Kevin Koehler, and Austin Schutz.

The average for the period 1950-2023. there are six military coup attempts in one year.

2. Record holders of violent change of power – the countries of Africa

Most often, coups occur in African countries – 168 attempts to seize power by the armed forces have been recorded there, of which 75 were successful.

Among the latest cases of military coups in sub-Saharan Africa is the coup in the Central African Republic (2021), the coup in Mali (2021), when the Malian army overthrew President Ba Ndau, and the seizure of power in Burkina Faso (2022), where a military junta came to power.

Among individual countries, the record for the number of military coups belongs to Latin American states – Bolivia, Argentina, Guatemala, and Ecuador.

3. Russia is a stable state

Since 1950, there has been only one attempt to seize power by force in Russia – in 1991, representatives of the top leadership, dissatisfied with the reforms of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, formed the State Committee for the State of Emergency (GKChP), which, as expected, would take control of the country. The GKChP’s attempt to seize power failed.

The events of 1993, during the clashes between security officials loyal to Boris Yeltsin and supporters of the Supreme Council (SC), can also be attributed to an attempt at an armed takeover. As a result, forces controlled by the President stormed the Armed Forces building.

The “Justice March” of Wagner PMC fighters led by Yevgeny Prigozhin to Moscow is seen as a rebellion, not a coup attempt but mutiny since Prigozhin did not set the overthrow of the government as a direct goal current.

Total in 1950-2023. In Europe, 12 attempts at armed takeover have been recorded, four of which have succeeded. These are coups in Greece in 1967 and 1973, as well as in Romania in 1989.

In addition, in April 1974, the “Carnation Revolution” took place in Portugal, where the military ousted the authoritarian regime of the so-called “New State”, whose ideologue was António Salazar. After the overthrow of the “New State”, a transitional military government was established in the country, and in 1976 the army organized elections and transferred power to the parties.

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Russia Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Russia Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on easternherald.com.

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