Ex-CIA Head Petraeus: Prigozhin ‘Lost His Wagner Group,’ ‘Should Be Very Careful Around Open Windows’
ROSTOV-ON-DON - RUSSIA - JUNE 24: Head of the Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin left the Southern Military District headquarters on June 24, 2023 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former CIA Director David Petraeus said during an interview on Sunday that Yevgeny Prigozhin has lost control of his Wagner group after mounting a rebellion against the Russian government over the weekend and that he should be fearful of assassination attempts.

Petraeus told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” that the uprising late last week shows that “clearly Putin is weakened” and “his government is weakened.”

The former Air Force general said that Prigozhin might have kept his life, at least for now, after securing a deal with the president of Belarus, but he has lost control of his Wagner group.

“And he should be very careful around open windows in his new surroundings in Belarus, where he’s going,” he said. “Clearly, Prigozhin lost his nerve. He was, as you noted earlier, within roughly two hours’ drive of the outskirts of Moscow, where they were starting to prepare defensive positions. This rebellion, although it had some applause along the way, didn’t appear to be generating the kind of support that he had hoped it would.”

Petraeus said that the entire ordeal has rattled the Russian government and made Putin more vulnerable than at any other point over his 23-year rule over the country.

“We have always asked, who would be the one who would strike a blow at the czar?” he continued. “And now we know, although he failed. And it brings to mind also Napoleon’s admonition, if you start to take Vienna, take Vienna. Prigozhin lost his nerve, turned around, and also the future of the Wagner Group not completely clear, how many of them will sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense, which was the real bone of contention to begin with, that Prigozhin would lose control of this mercenary force he’s built over a number of years.”


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