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Putin’s red line might be softer than anticipated - Politico

Putin’s red line might be softer than anticipated - Politico Russian dictator Vladimir Putin (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: RBC Ukraine

US officials suggest that the 'red line' of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin might be softer than previously anticipated, following the rebellion of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the private military contractor Wagner, according to Politico.

"US officials suspect that one motivation for Putin making the deal was to avoid widespread violence on Russian soil. That has led some to wonder if they could push the envelope further in supplying Ukraine with more lethal, longer-range weapons — including F-16s," the report states.

According to two sources cited by the oultet, Putin's 'red line' may turn out to be softer than anticipated, and he might choose not to escalate for fear of widening the conflict. However, they cautioned that a decision has not yet been made.

The oulet notes that the fragility of Putin's regime is also causing some US officials to seriously consider the possibility of a post-Putin Russia, including the prospect of a dictator-controlled nuclear arsenal that could further destabilize the global order.

From the short-term perspective, it is evident that the NATO summit, scheduled to take place in Lithuania, will gain new relevance.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken predicted a "robust package of measures for Ukraine," which will be presented by NATO leaders in Vilnius. However, calculations within the alliance regarding Ukraine's potential NATO membership may change due to Russia's military weakness and the very real prospect of a civil war within its borders.

Prigozhin's rebellion

The leader of the Wagner private military company launched a military coup on the evening of June 23. He quickly seized Rostov-on-Don and headed toward Moscow. The Kremlin authorities fled on the day of June 24. However, unexpectedly, Prigozhin called off the coup in the evening, announcing that he was withdrawing his forces from Moscow.

Prigozhin's rebellion severely weakened the Moscow government, exposing its inability to control the situation in the country.