US Spies Knew ‘Something Was up’ Before Wagner Mutiny Against Putin

  • US agencies had intelligence suggesting Yevgeny Prigozhin was planning action in Russia. 
  • There were enough signals to know “something was up,” a US official told The Washington Post. 
  • The Wagner boss stood down his troops after they began marching to Moscow in an apparent rebellion.

US spy agencies had intelligence earlier this month suggesting that Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of Russia’s Wagner Group, was planning some kind of armed action, according to The Washington Post.

Citing several unnamed sources, the report says that US officials had warned the White House and other US agencies of their intelligence.

“There were enough signals to be able to tell the leadership that something was up,” an anonymous US official told the news outlet. “So I think they were ready for it.”

This weekend, Prigozhin’s Wagner Group launched a remarkable armed mutiny in Russia, with fighters first seizing the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don before marching on the country’s capital.

Prigozhin later stood down his troops, ordering them to return to their camps in order to avoid Russian bloodshed

There had been “high concern” over the past two weeks over whether Putin would remain in power and over what kind of instability a Russian “civil war” might cause, US officials told The Post. 

A key provocation for the Wagner uprising was on June 10, The Post reported, after Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced that all volunteer fighting groups would have to sign government contracts.

The announcement was generally seen as a means of bringing the mercenary group under official Russian military control.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin previously vowed to punish the actions of the fighters, Russia later said it would not prosecute any of the troops in exchange for Prigozhin’s exile to Belarus, The Associated Press reported.

Under the terms of the deal, charges against Prigozhin of leading an armed rebellion would also be dropped, per The AP. 

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