Putin’s Control Challenged by Rebel Forces, Says Ukrainian President

Volodymyr Zelensky has labelled Vladimir Putin's response to the ongoing rebellion of the Wagner mercenary group as "weak,"

by Faruk Imamovic
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Putin’s Control Challenged by Rebel Forces, Says Ukrainian President

In an eye-opening conversation with CNN, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has labelled Vladimir Putin's response to the ongoing rebellion of the Wagner mercenary group as "weak," contending that the Russian leader is gradually losing his grip over the nation's affairs.

A Weak Response, A Losing Battle

“We see Putin’s reaction. It’s weak,” Zelensky bluntly stated during the interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett in Odesa, taped on Sunday. “Firstly, we see he doesn’t control everything.

Wagner’s moving deep into Russia and taking certain regions shows how easy it is to do. Putin doesn’t control the situation in the regions”. In what could be viewed as an undermining of Putin's leadership, Zelensky claimed, “All that vertical of power he used to have is just crumbling down”.

Several Russian citizens have reportedly rallied behind the Wagner rebels, an observation seemingly confirmed by footage secured by CNN. This footage, geolocated and verified, showcases cheering crowds as Prigozhin's vehicle departs from the southern city of Rostov-on-Don on June 24.

Behind the Scenes: Intelligence and International Affairs

Laying bare the complex political undercurrents, Zelensky disclosed that Ukrainian intelligence reports suggest that the Kremlin is deliberating on the extent of its support for Prigozhin.

Zelensky's interview with CNN arrives at a critical juncture, following Prigozhin's unsuccessful rebellion, and amidst Ukraine's methodical endeavour to recapture territories previously under Russian occupation. The developments have drawn the watchful eyes of Western allies.

The situation reached a new level of intensity this past Saturday when a US official revealed to CNN that the CIA Director, Bill Burns, had recently paid a visit to Kiev. During this visit, Burns engaged in discussions with Zelensky and top Ukrainian intelligence officials.

When asked about his secretive meeting with the CIA director, Zelensky confessed his surprise at the media coverage it garnered. “We don’t have any secrets from CIA, because we have good relations, and our intelligence services talk with each other,” he clarified.

“The situation is pretty straightforward. We have good relations with the CIA chief and we are talking. I told him about all the important things related to the battlefield which we need”. In an escalating climate of rebellion and international politics, these revelations hint at a changing landscape in Russia's political arena and the international responses this instigates.

With both internal and external forces at play, the evolving dynamic between Russia, Ukraine, and Western allies may be paving the way for significant geopolitical shifts.

Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky Vladimir Putin
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