On Saturday, ex-President Donald Trump cautioned against the potential removal of Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggesting that Putin’s successor might be “much worse”.

Trump wrote on Truth Social:

A big mess in Russia, but be careful what you wish for. Next in may be far worse!

Trump’s comments came amid an unfolding scenario in Russia where the Wagner, a private Russian military unit, was advancing towards Moscow in a move that looked to significantly challenge Putin’s rule, amid the ongoing war with Ukraine now 16 months old. Later, the paramilitary group declared they would retreat to prevent violence.

In anticipation of the Wagner’s arrival, the Moscow government set up private checkpoints, armored vehicles, and additional security measures, indicating an astonishing and possibly volatile sign of internal disagreement in Russia about Putin’s governance.

The head of the group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, criticized military leaders for mishandling the war in Ukraine, stating that he had a force of 25,000 soldiers at his disposal. The unit had advanced 60 miles within Russia, claiming they had seized Rostov-on-Don, the city from which the Russian military has orchestrated its assault on Ukraine.

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