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Wagner’s mutiny exposes serious cracks in Putin’s regime, Blinken says

Antony Blinken in Latvia. 30 November 2021. Photo: Twitter/SecBlinken
Wagner’s mutiny exposes serious cracks in Putin’s regime, Blinken says

The consequences of the mutiny in Russia, organized by the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, are still unclear since the situation is far from stabilizing, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in his interview with ABC via teleconference.

Wagner’s rebellion has exposed some cracks in the system of power in Russia, and it is unclear where such cracks may go, Antony Blinken said. However, it is too early to draw conclusions about the situation’s outcome, according to Blinken.

“It is still a moving picture, and I doubt we have seen the last act, and I also don’t want to speculate because it is something that continues to move,” Blinken said.  “But I think we can say this much:  First, we have seen some very serious cracks emerge.  You have Prigozhin publicly questioning the very premise for this Russian aggression against Ukraine in the first place, the notion that somehow Ukraine or NATO presented a threat to Russia.  You have someone challenging Putin’s leadership very publicly and very open – and very openly.  And, of course, if you put this in context, 16 months ago, Putin was on the doorstep of Kyiv in Ukraine, looking to take the city in a matter of days, erase the country from the map.  Now, he has had to defend Moscow, Russia’s capital, against a mercenary of his own making,” Blinken added.

Wagner chief Prigozhin planned mutiny in Russia since mid-June – Washington Post

Evgeny Prigozhin publicly questioned the “very preconditions” of Russia’s war against Ukraine and began a discussion about the consequences of this war for Russia, Blinken noted. It is currently unknown whether all Wagner troops left the territory of Ukraine during the rebellion in Russia, Blinken added.

“So much that is beneath the surface has now surfaced again in terms of questioning the very premises for the war, in terms of questioning the conduct of the war, in terms of questioning what good this has actually done for Russia. And of course, it has been exactly the opposite,” Blinken said. “This has been a devastating strategic failure for Putin across virtually every front – economic, military, geopolitical standing – and fundamentally, what it’s done or not done for the Russian people.”

US President Joe Biden did not try to contact Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during the Wagner’s tank run to Moscow on 24 June, although the US monitors the situation in Russia “very carefully,” Blinken said.

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