Ukrainian officials say chaos in Russia benefits Kiev

Members of the Wagner Group prepare to depart from the headquarters of the Southern Military District and return to their base on June 24, 2023 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

Feodor Larin | Anadolu agent | beautiful pictures

Chaos in Russia is in Kiev’s favor, Ukrainian officials said on Saturday, but it remains to be seen whether President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his military can take advantage of the turmoil caused this weekend when mercenaries marching towards Moscow or not.

Late on Saturday, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner’s army, said he was halting his “march for justice” in Moscow following a deal that would save him and his mercenaries from facing criminal charges. The agreement is also Prigozhin exile to Belarus.

“Today the world sees that the owners of Russia have no control over anything. Nothing at all. Just chaos,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address, calling on his colleagues. Ukraine’s allies took advantage of this moment and sent more weapons to Kiev.

The unrest in Prigozhin, the biggest internal challenge to President Vladimir Putin as Russia’s supreme leader in 23 years, has sparked global security concerns and a flurry of rhetoric. calls for coordinated action between Washington and its allies.

“Any chaos behind the enemy’s front lines is in our favor,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was quoted by state news agency Ukrinform as saying.

Putin called Prigozhin’s actions were a “blow to Russia”, but there was no immediate sign that his power was threatened. The defense ministry, under the leadership of Putin’s staunch ally, Sergei Shoigu, remained silent throughout the weekend’s events.

Kuleba said it was too early to talk about the consequences for Ukraine, but later in the day he spoke by phone with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the events and Kiev’s counter-attack.

The US State Department said in a later statement that Washington will continue to “work closely” with Kiev as the situation develops.

The Ukrainian military on Saturday announced an attack near the villages surrounding Bakhmut, which were captured by Wagner forces in May after months of fighting. Kiev also announced the liberation of the village of Krasnohorivka in Donetsk, but the gains were growing.

Zelenskiy recently said the counter-attack was generally “slower than desired”.

Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said on Saturday that there was no immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from the front lines to Moscow.

“They… all remained in their positions. They continued to resist,” Ukrainian state media quoted Mr. Danilov as saying.


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