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Antony Blinken says Russia turmoil shows 'cracks' in Putin’s rule

Antony Blinken says Russia turmoil shows 'cracks' in Putin’s rule

Posted June. 27, 2023 08:10,   

Updated June. 27, 2023 08:10


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday, "The unprecedented challenge to Mr. Putin by Wagner fighters has exposed fresh cracks in the strength of his leadership." He added, "We are keeping our powder dry." With some speculating that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been in power for 23 years, could be compelled to step down, many view the uprising as a tipping point that could bring about significant changes in Russia and the international order.

"Direct challenges to Putin's authority have surfaced publicly," Blinken said in an interview with CNN and four other U.S. media outlets. "There are clear cracks opening up." He further remarked, "What's notable is that someone inside Russia is directly questioning Putin's authority and the invasion of Ukraine." Blinken acknowledged the uncertainty of the situation, stating, "It's hard to say where this situation is headed. We haven't seen the last chapter of it yet."

Some observers believe that the uprising will stimulate discussions in the West, including the U.S., regarding how to handle a "post-Putin" regime, a topic that has been under discussion since the war in Ukraine. When asked if the U.S. is preparing for a potential collapse of Putin's regime, Blinken responded, "We're always preparing for all contingencies. We are always keeping our powder dry."

However, some analysts believe that Putin may seize this opportunity to consolidate his power. "To maintain his influence, Putin will consider any and every possibility for reasserting his dominance over Russia, with direct implications for the war in Ukraine," wrote Edward Watson McWhinney, a professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada, in The Conversation. This means Putin could escalate attacks in Ukraine or take disciplinary action against military leaders to shift the balance of power.