Media Claims US Intelligence Knew About Prigozhin’s Planned Mutiny

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US intelligence

US intelligence agencies reportedly knew that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group private military company (PMC), had been plotting a coup in Russia.

Citing several US officials, the Washinton Post reported that the White House and other government agencies were informed so they would not be caught off guard.

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.”

Sputnik reports: Over the past two weeks, the intelligence agencies briefed the White House, as well as senior officials at the Department of State, the Pentagon and in Congress, unnamed officials told the newspaper.

Another US news outlet reported that the intelligence was not declassified as the US spy agencies were concerned that Russia would accuse them of orchestrating a coup. They also had “little interest” in helping Russian authorities, the report said.

On Friday, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal case for inciting armed mutiny over statements made on behalf of Prigozhin. The FSB said that there was a threat of escalation on Russian territory. The Russian Defense Ministry said that social media reports of alleged Russian military strikes on PMC Wagner camps were not true.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a televised address to the nation on Saturday in which he described the actions of the Wagner Group PMC as an armed mutiny and treason, and promised harsh measures against the insurgents.

Later in the day, the Belarusian presidential office announced that Prigozhin had accepted Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s proposal to stop the movement of Wagner troops in Russia and to take further steps to de-escalate the situation. Prigozhin later confirmed the information, saying that the Wagner troops were returning to their field camps.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Saturday evening that the criminal case against Prigozhin had been dropped and that he would leave for Belarus under guarantees given by Putin. The spokesman added that the members of the Wagner PMC involved in Saturday’s events would not be prosecuted given their distinguished service during Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

Niamh Harris
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