A few hours later, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told reporters on the sidelines of the Aspen Security Forum audience that “the coup attempt doesn’t look good because there’s no way Putin is going to conduct it as business as usual or as good news.”
“What we’re seeing is that the first, visible cracks that are visible on all sides were not in Ukraine, they were not in NATO, they were not in the EU, they were not in the UK-US relationship or any of that. The first cracks we saw were in the Russian system,” he continued.
The double-barreled message shows that London sees the weakening of Putin’s leadership since last month’s coup – and reflects a push among Ukraine’s allies to live up to expectations despite Kyiv’s slower-than-expected opposition.
It has been difficult to assess the extent to which Wagner’s crimes have waned in Russia. Prigozhin blamed the military and security leadership – but not Putin – for Russia’s failure in Ukraine. He said that the rebels, who had seen Wagner’s army marching towards Moscow, were expressing his displeasure with them and would probably see them removed.
The comments by UK officials come after Western leaders have been increasingly vocal about their willingness to help Ukraine against Russian aggression. “Putin has already lost the war,” President Joe Biden announced last week. And on Tuesday, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told reporters at the Pentagon that “the control and management tools at the technical level are very confusing and probably difficult.”
The governments are also happy to follow the NATO summit last week, where the G-7 countries pledged billions in security aid to Ukraine.
But the question hanging over the national security conference in the mountains of Colorado is how long good ideas last. Concerns about a stop-and-go protest in Ukraine have come up again and again both publicly and privately on the sidelines, raising questions about whether the US, UK and their allies will support a side that won’t win any time soon.
Cleverly said in front of a high-level audience that Ukraine is winning the war, in part because they are taking the part that took Russia months to capture. At a side conference with the press, he added “the Ukrainian people are slowly making progress.”
“This is a ‘slow section’ because they are going through a very fortified, dug-out area, and there is no quick and safe way to do this and they choose to do it cautiously rather than quickly. I think that is the right judgement,” he said. that we must be with them until this happens.”