CIA Director Burns says the Wagner uprising’s fallout ‘will play out for some time’

CIA Director William Burns stated that the recent Wagner Group-led revolt in Russia, orchestrated by Yevgeny Prigozhin, will have long-lasting repercussions and serves as evidence of the damage President Putin’s regime has caused to Russia.

The uprising: Last week, the Wagner paramilitary forces launched a protest due to an alleged plan by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to dissolve the mercenary group.
* Protesting against the Kremlin’s way of handling the Ukraine conflict, the Wagner forces managed to take temporary control of the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don and reached the outskirts of the capital city.

The compromise: Despite the city siege, Kremlin agreed to not charge Prigozhin, the Wagner Group chief, with the help of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
* Prigozhin will relocate to Belarus.

Burns’ stance: Burns regards Prigozhin’s revolt as an armed challenge to the Russian state, which portrays Russia’s war with Ukraine as a strategic failure.
* While declaring that the U.S. did not, and will not, have any part in these internal Russian affairs, Burns mentioned that the fallout from the revolt offers a chance to recruit Russian intelligence sources.

Past context: Burns, who was the U.S. ambassador to Russia between 2005 to 2008, had previously met with Putin in late 2021 with concerns over Russia’s potential full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
* The meeting left Burns with the impression that Putin was intending to attack Ukraine.

View original article on NPR

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