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“Don’t rock the boat”: West cautioned Ukraine from striking Russia during Wagner rebellion – CNN

“Don’t rock the boat”: West cautioned Ukraine from striking Russia during Wagner rebellion – CNN
Amid the Wagner chaos, Ukraine was warned against striking Russian military assets inside of Russia lest Russia would think that these actions were inflamed by the West, CNN reports.
Before Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of the Russian private military company Wagner, stepped down on Saturday, Ukrainian officials received messages from Western allies. These messages encouraged Ukraine to avoid exploiting Russia’s internal unrest for military advantage, as it could be seen as compromising Russian sovereignty, CNN reported.
The Western official stated, “The message was don’t rock the boat here.” According to the source, this advice was delivered at various diplomatic levels, including foreign ministers, deputies, and ambassadors.

“It’s an internal Russian matter,” was the clear message delivered to Ukrainian officials, mirroring what US and other Western officials have publicly declared. The official added that Ukrainians were advised “not to provoke the situation. Make hay of opportunities on Ukrainian territory but don’t get drawn into internal matters or strike at offensive military assets inside of Russia.”

In the ongoing war with Russia, Ukraine has reportedly been involved in an increasing number of clandestine cross-border attacks on Russian military facilities. There are even suspicions of a Ukrainian drone strike on the Kremlin, and Ukrainian forces have shelled the Russian Belgorod oblast near the shared border.

The Western official emphasized that it was critical not to support the narrative that these actions were instigated by Western forces. “You just don’t want to feed into the narrative that this was initiative by us,” the official expressed. “It’s what the Russians always wanted, proving that there are threats to Russian sovereignty.”

The Ukrainian media asked Ukraine’s intelligence to comment on this information, but the agency answered there will be no comment at this time.

Wagner coup: what happened earlier

After claiming that the Russian Ministry of Defense delivered a missile strike on the flanks of Wagner PMC and announcing a “march for justice” on the night of 24 June and seizing control of Rostov-on-Don, the headquarters of Russia’s invasion army, Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin was prosecuted for organizing an armed insurrection and faced up to 20 years in prison.

In a televised address on Saturday morning, Vladimir Putin said that all those who had “chosen the path of blackmail and terrorist methods” would be punished. According to Ukrainian intelligence, the Russian dictator urgently left Moscow for Valdai, which is between Moscow and St.Petersburg.

Prigozhin has refused to lay down arms and said that Wagner mercenaries were the true “patriots” of Russia. The Russian media outlet Vazhnye Istorii wrote, referring to its sources in the Presidential Administration, that the Kremlin tried to negotiate with Prigozhin but got rejected.

The press service of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reported that the Belarusian leader had been in talks with Prigozhin all day on 25 June on behalf of Putin. A few minutes after this news, the owner of the PMC announced that his mercenaries were returning to the field camps as they were only 200 km from Moscow.

The Kremlin announced that the criminal charges against Prigozhin will be dropped and he will depart to Belarus. In the night of 25 June, Prigozhin departed from Rostov, with bystanders cheering him on.

Russia lost seven aircraft during the mutiny, as Wagner forces shot down the forces deployed to thwart the insurrection. Russian pro-war Telegram channels estimate that 13-20 Russian servicemen were killed. Additionally, an oil depot in the Voronezh Oblast was blown up, and 19 houses and roads were damaged by the march of Prigozhin’s private army in Russia, according to Russian pro-war media and Telegram channels. 

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