Many Ukrainians were in disbelief and stunned when Yevgeny Prigozhin turned his back on Russia’s war to attack his military superiors in an armed uprising and march on Moscow. The uprising ended within a day, leaving only disbelief. Ukrainian expectations of an overthrow of the government were dashed by the quick turnaround of the mercenary leader and the Kremlin pact. While many Ukrainians believed this left Russia in political and military instability that would have harmed President Vladimir Putin and his regime, the ongoing, existential conflict was front and center.
As mercenary leader Wagner Prigozhin advanced towards Moscow on Saturday, more than 50 rockets were fired into Ukraine, including one that hit an apartment complex in Kiev and killed three civilians, according to Ukrainian officials. To the east, Ukrainian forces defeated Russian offensives. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Monday that Ukraine’s military had advanced “in all directions”, but he did not attribute the so-called triumphs to Russian confusion and uncertainty. “Of course, whenever an opportunity arises that exposes an enemy vulnerability, that opportunity will be used,” said Yuriy Sak, an aide to Kyiv’s defense minister. But I don’t think we should view yesterday’s events as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We must focus on military objectives.
Ukrainian officials called these Russian events a distraction. The country must focus on its counter-offensive, but some hoped the West would take advantage of this to pressure Moscow by sending more weapons more quickly and backing Ukraine’s application for NATO membership in the future. next month. Whatever “the real objective of this masquerade”, Ukraine remains focused on its military plans. Sak said it was the only way for Ukraine to stop the war. The former British army chief advised Ukrainian officials to use the chaos to continue to “probe attacks along the Russian defensive line” and figure out where to deploy highly experienced, military-trained attack brigades. West. “This is a moment of opportunity for the Ukrainians,” General Richard Dannatt told Sky News, adding that kyiv should monitor its northern flank and Prigozhin’s operations in Belarus.
The Ukrainian army took advantage of Prigozhin’s efforts. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said a multi-pronged operation near Bakhmut, which the Wagner mercenary group helped carry out at the cost of thousands of casualties. Prigozhin shocked the Russian establishment by calling military and government authorities’ justifications for the Russian invasion “lies”. Putin’s former confidant abruptly ended Wagner’s march on Saturday. Russia said he would be banished to Belarus and his mercenaries would be military.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said these extraordinary events benefited Ukraine. Speaking on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” program, he said Ukraine “continues its counter-offensive”. “It’s early days, but they don’t have what it takes to succeed. It will take weeks or months, but Putin will have another problem. Before leaving last year, General Kenneth McKenzie, who oversaw US Central Command, believed Ukraine should take advantage of the chaos. He suggested that Ukrainian ground troops had a tactical advantage. The Russian army will reorganize the Wagner fighters, causing chaos. The retired general claimed it showed Putin’s vulnerability, making it an important event for Ukraine’s military leaders.
McKenzie said Sunday that Putin needed ultimate control to survive. “This mythos has been pierced and you have this disarray at the top”, which makes it weak, vulnerable and much more deadly. Ukraine may not take advantage of this delay. Former military and diplomatic officials fear that Putin will be forced to use force to counter this vulnerability. This raises the possibility that Putin will use a tactical nuclear weapon to stop Ukraine’s counteroffensive and bolster his strongman image. When Putin revealed earlier in June that he would deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus next month, concerns resurfaced. “Putin’s story and Russian doctrine or philosophy is about escalating to defuse,” McKenzie said. It no longer has any non-nuclear instruments. So start looking at things that could have irreparable consequences.