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McFate Speaks With NPR About the Repercussions of the Wagner Group's Rebellion in Russia

June 29, 2023


Sean McFate

Sean McFate

The leader of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, declared a rebellion inside Russia over the Kremlin's handling of the war in Ukraine. Prigozhin's private army is a key fighting force for Russia in Ukraine, but this weekend, he turned his men away from that fight and mobilized them to move toward Moscow. Russia's President Vladimir Putin appeared on television and accused his former ally of treason. And then suddenly it all stopped.

"It's unknown what secret deal Putin and Prigozhin made with each other...these two men go back to knowing each other from the 1990s," says Sean McFate, adjunct professor in Maxwell's Washington programs.

"The problem of private warfare is control and accountability. And you have very little of it, especially in a conflict zone," McFate says. "So right now, we have the problem—well, Putin has a problem, is he can give amnesty temporarily to Wagner Group and to Prigozhin. But we don't know how this ends, because if he decides to annihilate them, then he's going to have a civil war on his hands," he says.

Listen to the full NPR interview, "Mercenary leader launched a failed rebellion against Russia's military leaders."

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