Zelensky Mocks Putin’s ‘Crumbling’ Power, ‘Feeble Stories’ of His Hold Over Russia Following Wagner Mutiny
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mocked the “feeble stories” of Vladimir Putin’s control over Russia after the recent turmoil within the country.
CNN released previews of Erin Burnett’s interview with Zelensky while reporting from Ukraine on the ongoing effort against Russia’s invading military. As they spoke in Odessa, Burnett asked Zelensky for his thoughts about the Wagner uprising led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, and Zelensky mocked Putin’s “weak” reaction while arguing that it shatters the notion of his grip on Russia.
Zelensky told Burnett (via translation):
We see he doesn’t control everything. Wagner’s moving deep into Russia and taking certain regions, it shows how easy it is to do. Putin doesn’t control the situation in the regions. He doesn’t control the security situation. All of us understand that his whole army is in Ukraine. Almost the entire army is there. That’s why it’s so easy for the Wagner troops to march through Russia. Who could have stopped him? We understand that Putin doesn’t control the regional policy, and he doesn’t control all those people in the regions. So all that vertical of power he used to have is just crumbling down.
In another previewed portion of the interview, Zelensky elaborated that Ukrainian intelligence shows that the Russian people are divided between supporting Putin and Prigozhin. This led to Zelensky’s hypothesis that Putin will try to work on consolidating Russian society to minimize the broader impact of the Wagner mutiny.
“All those stories that he controls everything, these are feeble stories now,” he said. “This society is ununified. Pay attention to this interesting example. After all these events, where did Putin go? I can tell you, he rarely comes out to the street. We see him in his offices, et cetera, but we never see him out and about.”
The full Zelensky interview will air tonight on CNN at 7 p.m. ET.
Watch above via CNN.
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