On June 30, Foreign Policy published its biweekly “It’s Debatable” column featuring Scowcroft Center Vice President and Senior Director Matthew Kroenig and Emma Ashford assessing the latest news in international affairs.

In their latest piece, the pair debate the international rippling effects caused by Prigozhin’s revolt in Russia. Will this incident spotlight Russia’s internal turmoil, revealing the weakness of Vladimir Putin and his security forces? Or, does the mutiny inadvertently prolong the war in Ukraine?

Wagner, Prigozhin, and Surovikin were the most effective Russian fighting forces on the battlefield in Ukraine. Now they have been removed. It won’t be as significant as a full-blown Russian civil war for Ukraine’s chances on the battlefield, but, overall, the failed mutiny helps Kyiv’s war effort.

Matthew Kroenig

I worry that this whole incident may make it less likely that the conflict can be ended through negotiations. If Putin fears looking weak, he may not wish to engage in diplomacy, and that would mean that the war lasts longer. So on balance, I think Ukraine gets minimal military opportunity from this and potentially faces a longer, grinding war.

Emma Ashford

Related Experts: Matthew Kroenig