US Spies Knew Wagner Group Might Challenge Putin

US Spies Knew Wagner Group Might Challenge Putin

( – According to a Washington Post June 25 report, US spy agencies knew since mid-June that Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenaries were planning an “armed action” against the Kremlin. The newspaper said these agencies obtained intelligence data that showed how Prigozhin even warned the Biden administration about his plot.

The Post said senior leadership at the State Department, Congress, and the Pentagon were briefed on the intelligence. One US official said that Prigozhin told them about his plan as he allegedly wanted to prevent Washington from being “caught off guard.”

The White House was highly concerned about Prigozhin’s move because of the implications of what could happen to Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Members of the Biden administration allegedly commented that this situation could lead to a “civil war” and unpredictable consequences if President Vladimir Putin were removed.

The Wagner chief has been protesting the Russian Defense Ministry’s order that every volunteer detachment be obliged to sign contracts with the Russian government. Prigozhin saw that as the Kremlin’s plot to take over his private military group, which has been playing a significant role in the invasion of Ukraine.

As reported by the Post, a senior Ukrainian official revealed that Ukraine’s armed forces suspected that Prigozhin would do something against the Kremlin because of this. This person also told the newspaper that the White House never notified Kyiv about Prigozhin’s plot.

While the Wagner chief didn’t directly criticize Putin during his first statements after announcing the mutiny, he eventually said Russia would have “a new president.” Prigozhin and his troops came within 120 miles of the Russian capital Moscow before deciding to turn back and return to their camps. He said he did this to prevent “Russian bloodshed.”

It was later revealed that the Wagner chief stopped his coup attempt after negotiating with Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko and reaching a deal. Reports revealed Prigozhin is currently living at a hotel in the Belarusian capital Minsk.

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