Kimberly Marten (Professor of Political Science, Barnard) writes on the aftermath of the Wagner mutiny for The Guardian (Aug. 4, 2023)
But Putin’s dithering and backtracking, both during the mutiny and afterwards, must be giving his inner circle pause. Western intelligence officials revealed that Putin knew about the mutiny in advance, yet did nothing to stop it. Now he seems to have done little to punish it. One factor that has long kept members of the Russian elite from challenging Putin – their belief in his invincibility – is now suspect. […]
Yet the president is more vulnerable now than he has ever been, especially amid the bleak outlook for Russia’s costly and grinding war in Ukraine. Both the US president, Joe Biden, and CIA chief, William Burns, suggest that Prigozhin should watch his back, since Putin’s vindictiveness often leads him to take revenge long after a perceived betrayal. Now Putin may be watching his own back, too.