Putin ‘looks like a different person’ after rebellion

President Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Monday described Russian President Vladimir Putin as “much weaker” and said he “looked like a different person” after the Wagner Group launched a brief armed rebellion against the Kremlin over the weekend.

“Regardless of what happened here, Putin is much weaker. And Putin – Putin seems like a different person. But I always believed Putin would be like a mob boss and you look at him today,” McCarthy said in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”

“Putin would never have let Prigozhin go this far or continue. I mean Prigozhin, it was no secret. He was publicly criticizing Putin, criticizing the military,” McCarthy added.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the mercenary group, over the weekend launched a rebellion against the Kremlin and led his troops from Ukraine’s front lines towards Moscow. He called for the ousting of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and made accusations that undermined Russia’s stated motivation for war.

Within 24 hours, however, an agreement was reached with Belarus, which agreed to grant amnesty to Prigozhin and his fighters.

“Remember what he said just a few days ago: the whole entry into Ukraine was a lie. He had lied to the people,” McCarthy said, referring to the recent video of Prigozhin who accused the Kremlin to lie to the people about why he really went to war.” And you watch people rise up and support Prigozhin. And for his ability to get closer to Moscow, without the air force get out, it must be scary for Putin.

McCarthy pointed to Putin’s particularly weak position at the moment, saying Russia was short on military supplies and saying it would be a great opportunity for Chinese President Xi to cut off all support for Moscow. McCarthy called on world leaders to put pressure on Xi.

“What really needs to happen here is that Chinese President Xi needs to give up all support for Russia. That should be a clear sign for him too,” he said, later adding, “But the world – world leaders should put pressure on President Xi.”

He also noted Putin’s personal vulnerability after the rebellion, saying he was “isolating himself” and was now “slow in making decisions”. He just isn’t the same when you look at him.

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