(UnitedVoice.com) – Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin faced the first real threat to his power in more than two decades. The leader faced off against the head of the Wagner Group, the mercenary group he sent into conflict to do his bidding. Yevgeny Prigozhin told his soldiers to march toward Moscow, allegedly to oust the head of the Russian military. As suddenly as it began, the rebellion ended — but that doesn’t mean the problems in the country are over.
Ukrainian Major-General Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the country’s leading intelligence agency (GUR), has reportedly come to the conclusion that Russia is teetering on the brink of a civil war. His agency reached that conclusion after examining an internal study conducted by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD).
The study was supposed to be secret, but it was leaked somehow. Budanov claims the Russian agency tracked the feelings people had about the Wagner rebellion using spyware that tracks what’s being said on social media and what’s trending in the press. According to Newsweek, the Ukrainian spy chief said the MVD found Prigozhin had a significant amount of support in 17 of the country’s 46 regions. One of the places where Putin wasn’t receiving a great deal of support is in his home city of St. Petersburg.
Budanov said they are seeing Russia “torn into two pieces.” He went on to say that the country “is on the edge of [a] civil war.”
This isn’t the first time Putin has seen his citizens begin to turn against him. In February, a year after the war against Ukraine began, Russians expressed frustrations about the conflict. The authoritarian leader has cracked down on social media and the internet. But some of the internet users in his country have figured out how to bypass his firewalls and share information from the frontlines.
One woman, known only as Natalya, spoke to CNN and said that she supported the war at first, but as time went on, she completely turned against it. She explained that her son was old enough to be sent to the frontlines. Also, she said she talks to her friends in Ukraine, and those conversations are why she’s no longer supporting Putin’s crusade. The 53-year-old woman also pointed out that she doesn’t trust Russian TV because she has no idea if it’s truthful.
During the first year of the war, hundreds of thousands of Russians fled. And as the conflict continues, many of the young men thrust on the front lines are dying as Ukraine tries to take back control.
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