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Ukrainians watch with delight as Wagner mutiny unfolds

Ukrainians watch with delight as Wagner mutiny unfolds


KYIV- Kyiv residents told AFP on Saturday that they were “very happy” with the Wagner mercenary group’s mutiny against Moscow and hoped the infighting would weaken Russian troops on the battlefield.

Wagner mercenaries who have been spearheading much of the fighting in Ukraine have rebelled against Russia’s military leaders and are advancing north towards Moscow after seizing a key military base in the south.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to defeat the revolt and head off the threat of civil war.

People on the streets of the Ukrainian capital reacted with delight.

“I expected something” like this to happen “but not so fast,” said Ilya Tsvirkun, 21. “I thought it would all start after the war ends. But it started earlier and it’s very good.”

He said he thought Putin “will withdraw some troops” from Ukraine to help tackle the mutiny at home, making it easier for Ukrainian forces.

‘A lot of fun’

Kyiv launched its counter-offensive earlier this month, hoping to take back territory occupied by Russia in the south and east of the country.

While Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s outfit fought at the forefront of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, in recent months it has engaged in a bitter feud with Moscow’s military leadership.

Prigozhin has repeatedly blamed Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff, for his fighters’ deaths.

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