Putin May Emerge Stronger After Wagner Rebellion; Russians will Rally Behind Him: Indian Govt Sources
The rebellion by the Wagner Group, the so-called militia in Russia that has threatened Vladimir Putin, will only further consolidate the president’s hold, citing threat to the unity of the country, according to the observation by the Indian government sources.
They feel Russians will unite behind Putin, whose popularity as a leader may further grow in the country, as people will perceive the Wagner Group’s act as a “threat” to Russia.
The sources further reveal that the West and the media may want to create a narrative around the mutiny led by the Wagner Group’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, but “Putin may just become stronger after this”. “Wagner Group chief may be tagged rebellious and his act may be considered as treason.”
Prigozhin, who has agreed to de-escalate the situation, according to the office of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, is acting “too big for his boots”, and the current problem is between a private military contractor and the Russian army, said the Indian government sources.
Moscow has been “all quiet” ever since the Wagner issue has erupted, the sources further said.
Prigozhin’s troops, who fought the bloodiest battles in Ukraine, on Saturday invaded Russia’s Southern Military District in Rostov “without firing a shot".
Rostov has played a primary role in operations in Ukraine since 2014 when Russia began the separatist war over the border in the Donbas region. The city’s importance as a military hub has increased manifold since Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
Prigozhin released a video on Friday that he is stepping up his feud with Russian military’s top brass, and rejects Putin’s justification of invading Ukraine for the first time.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal case against Prigozhin, announcing that “the 62-year-old called for armed mutiny against the state”, according to Al Jazeera.
On June 24, Prigozhin said his men crossed the border from Ukraine to Russia, and ready to go against the Russian military. Later, the Wagner fighters entered Rostov-on-Don, according to the audio released by Prigozhin on Telegram. He announced that his troops have captured the army headquarters in Rostov without “fighting a single shot”.
Putin, in a televised address, accused Prigozhin of “treason” and a “stab in the back”.
Putin signs a law permitting 30-day detentions for breaking the martial law in places where it has been imposed, the RIA news agency reports.
After the Belarusian president brokered a deal with Prigozhin, the Wagner fighters vacate Russia’s military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don.