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Moscow elites express concerns over Russia's future after Prigozhin's uprising, says CIA chief

Moscow elites express concerns over Russia's future after Prigozhin's uprising, says CIA chief CIA Director William Burns (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: RBC Ukraine

According to Politico, CIA Director William Burns said that Russian elites are expressing alarm over the future of Russia and President Vladimir Putin's future decisions, particularly following the recent unexpected rebellion by the Wagner Group.

“What it resurrected was some deeper questions … about Putin’s judgment, about his relative detachment from events and even about his indecisiveness,” Burns stated.

The day-long rebellion, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, primarily targeted Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and high-ranking Russian General Valery Gerasimov, according to him.

However, the fact that Wagner forces were able to traverse a significant part of Russia without hindrance dealt a heavy blow to Putin and exposed open discussions about the corruption within the Russian elite.

"I think in many ways it exposed some of the significant weaknesses in a system that Putin has built. Even aside from the mutiny, such weaknesses “were exposed by Putin’s misjudgment since he launched this invasion” of Ukraine," he added.

CIA Chief also pointed out that Putin will likely find a way to retaliate against Prigozhin and ultimately remove him.

“If I were Prigozhin, I wouldn’t fire my food taster,” Burns summarized.

The Wagner Group's uprising in Russia

In June, the leader of the Wagner Group accused Russian Defense Ministry personnel of attacking his mercenaries' rear bases and declared a "march of justice." His mercenaries advanced towards Rostov and set out to storm Moscow but halted 200 km before the capital.

The coup ended after negotiations between Prigozhin and Lukashenko. It was decided to send Prigozhin and some of his mercenaries to Belarus.

Currently, over 2,000 Wagner Group soldiers are stationed in Belarus.