Putin not weakened by Wagner mutiny: Orban

orban trump give a penny to Ukraine
Source: Video Screenshot

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said he does not believe the Wagner mercenary group’s mutiny has weakened Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it an “event of no major significance”.

The weekend uprising — which ended when Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin called off his troops’ advance on Moscow — has prompted questions about Putin’s grip on power as Moscow’s war in Ukraine grinds on.

But nationalist leader Orban, whose country has the closest ties among European Union members to Russia, played down suggestions the mutiny had impacted Putin.

“If someone speculates that he (Putin) could fail or be replaced, then he does not understand the Russian people and Russian power structures,” he said in an interview with media outlets Bild, Die Welt and Politico on Monday.

It was a sign of strength that the uprising ended within 24 hours, he said, and predicted that Putin would still be president in 2024.

Orban said he based his assessment on the fact that Putin was popular and the structures underpinning his rule were strong, pointing to the army, the secret service and the police.

The Kremlin on Tuesday also rejected suggestions that Putin’s authority had been weakened by the mutiny.

Despite an arrest warrant issued for the Russian leader by the International Criminal Court, Orban said he was not in favour of prosecuting him at the moment.

“We can talk about war crimes after the war,” he told the media outlets, which are all owned by Germany’s biggest publisher, Axel Springer.

The focus now should be on a ceasefire and negotiations, and participants needed to come to the table, he said.

Inviting someone for talks and then telling them “I am going to arrest you, is not the best idea,” he added.

Despite some initial successes for Kyiv’s counteroffensive, Orban said he considered a military victory for Ukraine to be “impossible”.

“The problem is that the Ukrainians will run out of soldiers earlier than the Russians,” he said.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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