Allies Asked Ukraine Not to Strike inside Russia during Wagner Rebellion – CNN

Tuesday, 27 June 2023

Before Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Wagner, stopped his "march" on Moscow on Saturday, allies at various levels appealed to Ukrainian officials with warnings against striking Russian territory during the rebellion.

As TV channel CNN repots, with reference to an anonymous Western official, the concern was that in the event of such strikes, the Russian Federation would view Ukraine and the West as helping Prigozhin and threatening Russian sovereignty.

"’The message was don't rock the boat here,’ the official said, adding that the message was transmitted at the foreign minister level, deputies and through ambassadors. 

‘It's an internal Russian matter,’ the official said the Ukrainian officials were told, echoing what US and other Western officials have said publicly. 

‘Ukrainians were being cautioned by allies not to provoke the situation. Make hay of opportunities on Ukrainian territory but don't get drawn into internal matters or strike at offensive military assets inside of Russia,’ the source said." 

The official added that the Russians have always wanted to prove that there are threats to Russian sovereignty, so there was no need to fuel the narrative that the mutiny was an initiative by the West. 

The day before, US President Joe Biden stressed that the United States and its closest allies were not involved in the Wagner group rebellion, for the first time publicly commenting on Russian events this weekend.  

The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that the recent events of the weekend indicate that the Russian state and President Vladimir Putin are weakened, and the Russian Federation may be entering an era of political instability.

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