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The revolt of the Wagner Group in Russia. CIA director: We are facing a once-in-a-generation opportunity

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The armed rebellion of the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, showed the destructive impact of the war in Ukraine on the internal situation in Russia, said the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns. He added that the dissatisfaction of the Russian public creates a “once in a generation opportunity” for the CIA.

– It is striking that Prigozhin accused the Kremlin of justifying the invasion of Ukraine was based on a lie,” Burns, the boss, said CIA and former US Ambassador to Moscow giving a lecture at the Ditchley Foundation in Oxfordshire, England.

READ MORE: The regime ‘could easily give way’

These words and actions will have consequences for a long time to come. It is a vivid reminder of the destructive impact of Putin’s war on his own people and his own regime,” Burnes said.

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He described Prigozhin’s rebellion as “an armed challenge to the Russian state.” At the same time, he noted that this is “an internal matter of Russia, in which United States have not and will not participate.

Yevgeny Prigozhin YULIA MOROZOVA / Reuters / Forum

“A chance that comes once in a generation”

In his opinion, the dissatisfaction of the Russians with the course war in Ukraine is a great opportunity for the CIA to recruit new spies.

“Social dissatisfaction with the war will undermine the authority of the Russian leadership despite continued propaganda and repression,” he said. He added, “This dissatisfaction creates an opportunity for us at the CIA that comes along once in a generation.” “We won’t let it go to waste,” he said.

Wagnerian revolt in Russia

On the evening of June 23, the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, announced that the regular Russian army had attacked his troops and that 25,000 mercenaries under his command were leaving to “restore justice.” The next day, his men took control of military facilities in Rostov-on-Don and Voronezh and marched on Moscow, while the Russian capital prepared to defend itself.

READ ALSO: The Wagner Group revolt hour by hour. This is how Prigozhin challenged Putin. He finally laid down his weapon

In an unannounced speech, the Russian president Vladimir Putin declared Prigozhin’s actions to be “treason” and “revolt”. According to Ukrainian intelligence, the Russian dictator urgently flew from Moscow to Valdai, where one of his residences is located. On the evening of June 24, after talking to Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenko, Prigozhin ordered a retreat. The criminal case against Prigozhin was to be discontinued, and he himself was to leave for Belarus.

Main photo source: EPA

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