Ukraine should bolster its defenses against a potential attack led by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin launched at Kyiv from Belarus, the former British Army chief of general staff General Richard Dannatt said on Sunday.
“The fact that he's gone to Belarus is a matter of some concern,” the general told Sky News.
He added that if Prigozhin has “kept an effective fighting force around him then he presents a threat again to the Ukrainian flank closest to Kyiv,” where the war began.
Lord Dannatt said it “is quite possible” that Russia may use Wagner forces to try and take the Ukrainian capital again.
As for the “fiasco” of the Wagner rebellion, the British general said: “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is definitely much diminished. The Russian military... is clearly in some disarray.”
Russian forces, initially deployed to safeguard Moscow, retreated on Sunday as Wagner mercenaries advancing on the capital halted their march. The mercenaries, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, had earlier seemed to take over the Russian military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don, which manages operations in Ukraine, and continued their advancement towards Moscow with minimal resistance. They reportedly succeeded in downing multiple helicopters and a military communication aircraft.
However, in an unexpected turn of events, the mercenaries' progress was stopped by a deal, brokering Prigozhin's transition to neighboring Belarus, a nation that has backed Russia's Ukraine invasion. As per this agreement, charges against Prigozhin for inciting an armed rebellion will be rescinded, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Consequently, Prigozhin directed his forces to retreat to their respective camps.