CIA Director Reveals Putin’s Dilemma on Wagner Mercenary Group Leader.

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Putin’s Strategic Dilemma

CIA Director William Burns shed light on the complex situation involving Russian President Vladimir Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner mercenary group, who led a mutiny in Russia a month ago. Burns emphasized that Putin is attempting to buy time to assess the best course of action in dealing with Prigozhin, whose rebellion exposed significant vulnerabilities in Putin’s power system.

Prigozhin’s Elusive Moves

According to Burns, Prigozhin has been on the move, recently being spotted in Minsk, Belarus, and Russia. The CIA chief suggested that Putin may aim to separate the Wagner group from its leader, as the mercenary group still holds value for Russia’s interests in regions like Africa, Libya, and Syria. The prospect of revenge against Prigozhin remains, as Putin is known for considering “revenge as a dish best served cold.”

Cautions from the US President and CIA Director

US President Joe Biden had previously hinted at the risk of poisoning for Prigozhin, advising him to be careful about his food choices. Burns echoed this sentiment, stating that he wouldn’t fire his food taster if he were in Prigozhin’s position. The CIA had prior knowledge of the mutiny, and Sergei Surovikin, a senior Russian army general allegedly aware of it, is also under restricted movement, according to Burns.

The Mutiny’s Significance

The mutiny was a direct challenge to Putin’s authority, questioning the Kremlin’s justification for the war in Ukraine. Prigozhin accused the war of being built on lies, adding to deeper concerns about Putin’s judgment among the Russian elite. The fact that Putin had to negotiate with someone who used to be his caterer, as Prigozhin is often referred to as “Putin’s chef,” raised questions about the image of Putin as the arbiter of order in Russia.

Russia’s Counter-offensive in Ukraine

Burns acknowledged that Ukraine’s counter-offensive against Russia was challenging, as offense is tougher than defense, and Russia had extensive preparation time. However, he expressed optimism that progress could be made over time. Additionally, Burns warned of potential false flag operations, where Russia might attack shipping in the Black Sea and blame it on the Ukrainians, indicating a possible deceptive strategy.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Daily Express

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