Before Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin stood down on Saturday, there was outreach to Ukrainian officials from allies on a number of different levels, cautioning them to resist taking advantage of the chaos to strike inside Russia, according to a Western official.
The concern was that Ukraine and the West would be seen as helping Prigozhin and threatening Russian sovereignty.
"The message was don't rock the boat here," the official said, adding that the message was transmitted at the foreign minister level, deputies and through ambassadors.
"It's an internal Russian matter," the official said the Ukrainian officials were told, echoing what US and other Western officials have said publicly.
"Ukrainians were being cautioned by allies not to provoke the situation. Make hay of opportunities on Ukrainian territory but don't get drawn into internal matters or strike at offensive military assets inside of Russia," the official said.
In the war with Russia, Ukraine is suspected of carrying out a growing number of covert cross-border attacks and sabotage on Russian military facilities and even a drone strike on the Kremlin. Ukrainian forces have shelled the Russian Belgorod region, near the border between the countries.
"You just don't want to feed into the narrative that this was initiative by us," the official said. "It's what the Russians always wanted, proving that there are threats to Russian sovereignty."