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Zelenskyy says Wagner showed Putin's 'weakness'

June 26, 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he spoke about the Wagner rebellion with US President Joe Biden.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits a book festival in Kyiv
Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke with several world leaders in the wake of unrest in RussiaImage: Ukrinform/ABACA/IMAGO

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed the Wagner Group mutiny in Russia with several world leaders on Sunday.

Zelenskyy said he and US President Joe Biden "discussed the course of hostilities and the processes taking place in Russia" among other things.

Over the weekend, the Russian mercenary group Wagner, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, launched a short-lived armed rebellion. Moscow announced on Saturday reaching a deal with Prigozhin, who had long criticized Russia's military leadership, seemingly putting an end to the the threat he posed. 

What did Zelenskyy say?

"Yesterday's events exposed the weakness of Putin's regime," the Ukrainian president said.

Earlier, Zelenskyy had a phone call with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

"We discussed the latest developments in Russia and how they could affect the course of hostilities and the security situation in the region," he said.

"I told him about the situation on the battlefield and the threatening situation created by the occupiers at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant."

Zelenskyy also spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the impact of the Russian unrest, as well as the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

After Prigozhin’s called-off armed uprising

West sees 'cracks' in Russian system

On Monday, EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell also said that Wagner's aborted mutiny showed how the war in Ukraine is splintering Russian power.

"What has happened during this weekend shows that the war against Ukraine is cracking Russian power and affecting its political system," Borrell said at a meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers. 

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also said the latest developments in Russia were exposing "massive cracks in the Russian propaganda."

Blinken: 'More cracks emerge in the Russian facade'

fb, zc/wd (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)