US Officials Recognize Cracks in Putin's Leadership
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on Sunday, brought attention to a unique challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin by Wagner fighters, disclosing newfound fissures in Putin's command. He speculated that the full implications of this weakness might take weeks or months to be realized.
Fallout from Russia's Internal Unrest Aids Ukraine and Russia's Neighbors
During numerous television interviews, Blinken, together with U.S. Congress members, highlighted that the recent unrest in Russia has diminished Putin's power. This could potentially bolster Ukraine's counteroffensive against Russian forces on its soil and favor Russia's neighbors, including Poland and the Baltic states.
Emerging Cracks in Russia's Facade: Blinken
Blinken, on ABC's "This Week" program, explained that the seeds of the current tension had been sown months back. He stated that these internal disruptions could potentially impact Moscow's military capabilities in Ukraine. Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" program, he further characterized the situation as an "internal matter" for Putin, affirming the US's unwavering focus on supporting Ukraine.
Unraveling Details of Russia's Deal with Prigozhin
U.S. officials are eager to uncover more about the incidents in Russia, especially details regarding the agreement brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko with Yevgeny Prigozhin that led to the retreat of Wagner fighters. Blinken hypothesized that Putin might have been hesitant to lower himself to negotiate directly with Prigozhin.
Putin's Future in Ukraine Limited by Internal Strife
House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner posited that Putin's future actions in Ukraine might be limited by Prigozhin's assertion that the invasion was based on false pretenses. The former Putin ally Prigozhin, despite his controversial past, has contributed significantly to Russia's 16-month-long conflict in Ukraine.
The Impact of Russian Turmoil on Military Capabilities
Retired US Air Force General Philip Breedlove stated that the recent disturbances signify a decline in Russian capabilities. He indicated that Russian military institutions, once deemed secure, are gradually disintegrating.
Continuing US Aid to Ukraine amid Russia's Instability
Despite the unfolding crisis in Russia, US Senator Ben Cardin emphasized the importance of ongoing US aid to Ukraine as it initiates its counteroffensive against Russia. Republican Representative Don Bacon also underscored that a weakened Putin could potentially benefit Russia's neighboring countries, assuming a role contrary to that of a peaceful neighbor.