Failure of Prigozhin’s mutiny baffled Western intelligence agencies

The West's intelligence agencies pinned their hopes on Prigozhin’s mutiny in a bid to defeat Russia. Its failure has panicked them now.

Failure of Prigozhin’s mutiny baffled Western intelligence agencies

The Wagner Private Military Company (PMC) founder Yevgeny Prigozhin suffered a humiliating setback and has been exiled from Russia after his short-lived ‘mutiny’ attempt on June 23rd. However, the West, which apparently pinned its hopes on Prigozhin’s mutiny to score a brownie with Russian President Vladimir Putin, now appears visibly panicked as Kremlin successfully defused the ‘mutiny’ and ended the party. 

Most of the West’s intelligence and foreign policy experts seek a way out by portraying their innocence in the affair to Moscow. At least, the events of the last few days prove so.

While tension between Russia and the US is at its peak due to the latter’s sanctions on the former over Moscow’s special military operations in Ukraine, the CIA director, William Burns, called the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergey Naryshkin, The Wall Street Journal reported. The CIA director pledged innocence in Prigozhin’s mutiny to the SVR director. Neither Burns nor Naryshkin has spoken to the press on their telephone discussion.

However, The Wall Street Journal reported that Burns assured Naryshkin that the CIA had no role to play in the Prigozhin affair and that Washington DC doesn’t want to exacerbate tensions with Moscow at this juncture. Although Burns, who heads the agency that is infamous for sponsoring and micro-managing coups and ‘colour revolutions’ throughout the world, wherever the US-led West faced defiance from the ruling bloc, pledged innocence, it’s hard to believe that the CIA didn’t want Prigozhin’s mutiny to succeed.

The US Department of State’s spokesperson Matthew Miller informed the press on June 26th, three days after Prigozhin released his infamous audio tapes on his Telegram channel to provoke his fighters against the Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu, and Putin himself, that the US played no role in this ‘mutiny’. However, Miller told the press that Prigozhin’s mutiny was a challenge to Putin’s rule and raised questions about the logic behind the Ukraine conflict.

Although Miller skidded questions regarding how the US Department of Defense—which didn’t organise a press briefing on the issue—and others utilised the scenario to aid Ukraine against Russia, he informed that soon after President Joe Biden heard about Prigozhin’s mutiny, he called several US allies in Europe, including Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Türkiye, with whom Washington has problematic relations. Even though Miller didn’t disclose the nature of the calls with these so-called ‘US allies’, it’s evident that the ailing octogenarian US president was optimistic about Prigozhin’s prospects.

The New York Times, which hoped for some major fireworks in the streets of Moscow, suddenly found that Prigozhin’s mutiny was a result of a rivalry between former army chief of Ukraine operations General Sergei Surovikin and Defence Minister General Shoigu. The newspaper quoted anonymous sources in the CIA for the news, although the US has officially not commented on this aspect. The Russians, unsurprisingly, refuted the claim made by the US newspaper and called it “speculation” and “gossip”.

Putin’s popularity didn’t suffer as a result of Prigozhin’s mutiny. Rather, when he received a warm welcome from different corners of Russian society after successfully crushing the uprising, the West’s hopes were finally doomed. Even though the ‘mutiny’ didn’t turn out to be what the West expected, its intelligence agencies are spending money from the public exchequer to analyse its impact.

According to European Union’s (EU) High Representative Josep Borrell, who attended the EU summit in Brussels last week, the European intelligence agencies are analysing the aftermath of Prigozhin’s mutiny and trying to find out the “cracks” in Putin’s rule. 

The Russian government’s swift actions and its ability to protect itself from any harm have pushed the EU members of NATO to hasten the process of providing Ukraine with the US F-14 jets from their arsenal, which will further anger their common people as their government’s excessive military spendings for the sake of the US will result in massive cuts in social security spendings.

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