Washington DC [US], June 25 (ANI): The dispute between Russia’s President and Wagner mercenary exposed the “real crack” in Vladimir Putin’s reign, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday.
To a question on whether he knew Wagner will abort his plan, Blinken in an interview with Jonathan Karl for ABC’s “This Week” said, “I don’t know, and I’m not sure we’ll fully know, or it may be something that unfolds in the coming – in the coming days and weeks. We simply don’t have a clear picture of that. And this really is fundamentally an internal matter for the Russians. We’re seeing it unfold. Again, we saw the rising tensions over several months that led to this. But exactly where this goes, we don’t know”, according to a statement released by State Department.
“But what we do know is that we’ve seen real cracks emerge – again, a direct challenge to Putin’s authority surfacing very publicly: the notion that this war, this aggression by Russia was being pursued under false pretenses; the notion that Ukraine or NATO somehow presented a threat to Russia that it had to deal with militarily. That’s now much more out in the open than it’s been. What that leads to, again, we just don’t know at this point,” he added.
On Saturday morning, Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a Telegram post, announced that his men had crossed the border from Ukraine into southern Russia and were ready to go “all the way” against the Russian military, TASS News Agency reported.
But later on, the governor of the southern Russian region of Voronezh said Wagner units are continuing their withdrawal and forces are departing “steadily and without incident.”
Meanwhile, in the interview, Blinken said wherever Wagner is present, death, destruction, and exploitation follow, as per the statement.
To a query on Putin’s hold on power, Blinken said, “It raises lots of questions that we don’t have answers to. As I said before, I think you see cracks of different kinds that have emerged. These are in a sense different in that it’s internal. When you’re being challenged from within, as Putin has been over the last few days, that also raises profound questions.”
“But we’ve seen, I think, lots of different cracks that have emerged in the conduct of this aggression, because everything Putin has tried to accomplish, the opposite has happened. Russia is weaker economically. It’s weaker militarily. It’s standing in the world has plummeted. It’s managed to strengthen and unite NATO. It’s managed to alienate and unite Ukrainians. It’s managed to get Europe off of its dependence on Russian energy,” he added.
“In piece after piece, issue after issue, what Putin has tried to prevent, he’s managed to precipitate. And Russia’s standing is vastly diminished as a result. Now, add to that internal dissension. Again, we can’t speculate on where this goes. We have to remain and we are focused on Ukraine, but it certainly raises new questions that he’s going to have to address,” US State Secretary said. (ANI)
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