Sen. Cardin on Wagner Group’s Mutiny Attempt: ‘Thugs Dealing With Thugs’

  • Sen. Ben Cardin on Sunday criticized both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Wagner Group.
  • “They’re thugs dealing with thugs,” he said during a Sunday appearance on Fox News.
  • The Wagner Group attempted to stage an armed rebellion this weekend but retreated from their effort.

Sen. Ben Cardin on Sunday said that the attempted mutiny by Russia’s Wagner Group of mercenaries on Russian President Vladimir Putin wasn’t a surprise, describing the scenario as “thugs dealing with thugs.”

During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” the Maryland Democrat and former ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Putin should have foreseen such an issue, pointing to the motivations of Wagner Group owner Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Prigozhin had long been allied with Putin, and the group has been aiding the Russian military during the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

But tensions between the groups have flared as Russia became bogged down in Ukraine without the sort of progress envisioned by the Kremlin.

“Putin brought this upon himself doing business with the Wagner Group,” Cardin told anchor Shannon Bream. “We know what they are. They’re thugs dealing with thugs. So this was not unexpected that a problem would develop.

“Putin’s lost his credibility with his own people. His account of why he went into Ukraine is now being challenged with public opinion in Russia itself,” he added.

Prigozhin has repeatedly placed blame on Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu over the country’s setbacks in Ukraine.

Wagner mercenaries this week entered Rostov-on-Don before retreating from the strategic Russian city. Meanwhile, Russian military leaders worked to protect Moscow during the attempted mutiny.

Prigozhin subsequently ended the Saturday uprising and has left Russia for Belarus. Per a Kremlin spokesperson, he won’t be prosecuted.

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