Putin-Wagner Dispute Exposes Real Crack: Blinken
WASHINGTON, DC (ANI) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on June 25 that the dispute between Russia’s President and the Wagner mercenary group exposed a significant crack in Vladimir Putin’s reign. In an interview with Jonathan Karl for ABC’s “This Week,” Blinken expressed uncertainty regarding the outcome of Wagner’s plan and acknowledged that the situation may unfold in the coming days and weeks. He emphasized that the matter is primarily an internal affair for Russia, with the unfolding events revealing a direct challenge to Putin’s authority and the notion that Russia’s aggression was based on false pretenses. The true implications of these developments remain unclear.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of Wagner mercenaries, initially announced in a Telegram post on Saturday morning that his men had crossed the border from Ukraine into southern Russia, prepared to confront the Russian military. However, the governor of the southern Russian region of Voronezh later stated that Wagner units were steadily and incident-free withdrawing from the area.
During the interview, Blinken remarked that death, destruction, and exploitation typically follow wherever Wagner is present. When asked about Putin’s hold on power, Blinken acknowledged the emergence of various cracks and internal challenges faced by the Russian leader in recent days. He pointed out that Putin’s aggressive actions have resulted in unintended consequences, weakening Russia economically and militarily, diminishing its international standing, and strengthening the unity of NATO and Ukrainians while reducing Europe’s reliance on Russian energy.
Blinken emphasized that the situation raises new questions for Putin to address, but the focus of the United States remains on Ukraine and the ongoing developments there. The long-term implications of these internal dissensions in Russia are yet to be determined.