Putin stronger following short lived Wagner mutiny attempt: Polyanskiy

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A senior Russian Diplomat at the United Nations believes President Vladimir Putin has come out looking stronger in the aftermath of the Wagner Group’s short-lived mutiny against his government.

Speaking as news emerged that mutiny leader Yevgeny Prigozhin had reached exile in Belarus, the Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative denied any knowledge of The Wagner Group’s operations in African countries like Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR). He argues that the group was separate from his Government despite fighting alongside Russia’s military in its invasive war of Ukraine.

Russia number two at the UN was peppered with questions as he emerged from the Security Council on this past weekend’s developments in his country, particularly whether Russia had intelligence as the US claims to have had that Wagner was plotting an insurrection.

Russian UN Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy says, “These questions are much above my payroll, as you might understand. I am not dealing with these internal issues. There are a lot of speculations in this regard in the Western press. I will also not comment on them. I think all the clarifications have been made recently by the president himself. So I don’t think that there will be more authoritative sources than him.”

On whether Putin and the Russian government are now weakened as a result of Wagner’s brazen march on Moscow and its incessant attacks against the Russian Defence Ministry leadership, Polyanskiy says, “I absolutely disagree. I think he looks strong and our country looks stronger than ever because we were united to repel this mutiny. And if you think otherwise, then I think you might somehow change your optics.”

Putin says those responsible for failed mutiny will be held accountable:

Wagner’s operations in Africa

And then on Wagner’s operations in Africa and whether they would continue in places like Mali and the CAR that are current agenda items in the Security Council.

“I do not have even information that Wagner Group is or is operating in these countries because this is a private military company. So how should they have the information about its activities? Same as American colleagues do not have a lot of information, as they say, about activities of different private military companies in the world. So why do you ask me these questions? And so insistently, I don’t know. I don’t see any connection of this situation with the situation in Ukraine. First and foremost, this is our internal matter, which was settled in a very resolute way. And we are absolutely sure that our country has gone from this experience stronger than it was ever and the president’s authority showed to be,” Polyanskiy says.

Wagner has long been known to back pro-Russian separatist forces in Ukraine and has fought alongside the Russia Military, most notably spearheading efforts to capture the town of Bakhmut after one of the longest battles in the war to date.

Polyanskiy says, “The fact that a Wagner group was making a rebellion against the Russian government, doesn’t it show that the Russian government was not involved in this situation? Wagner. Wagner. Many of Wagner’s fighters are real patriots of Russia. We admit it. And that’s why they were participating in this fight against NATO’s in Ukraine. That was their deliberate decision and we respect it. And we hope that there will be others who will be joining our legitimate fight for our freedom and independence.”

Despite President Putin earlier calling them traitors, Russia dropped all charges against Wagner’s Prigozhin and his fighters in stark contrast to the fate of others who have found themselves in public opposition to the Russia state.

Presence of Wagner Group in Africa: