The leader of the mercenaries in the Wagner group says they will withdraw from the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut in a few days. The reason is believed to be a lack of ammunition.
The emerging conflict between the so-called Wagner group and the rest of the Russian military apparatus seems to be increasing.
Now the leader of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, announces that he will withdraw his forces from Bakhmut, the city where much of the war currently appears to be concentrated.
Since the Wagner forces form a significant part of the Russians’ attack on the city, such a withdrawal could mean a rather dramatic change
It is the Russian Ministry of Defense’s fault, says Yevgeny Prigozhin, and strikes a anything but conciliatory tone towards the Kremlin.
NTB-Reuters reports on the case.
The battle in Bakhmut has been going on for many months, and the fighting is the most intense of the entire war. Ukrainian forces still hold parts of the city, but have gradually retreated.
Today, the city is mostly a single large pile of ruins, both apartment blocks and other buildings are more or less completely destroyed.
The Russians are said to have suffered very heavy losses in the attacks, and the Wagner group’s crews have been particularly hard hit. Wars of aggression in densely populated areas are known to be one of the things that cost the highest losses.
Prigozhin now claims that regular Russian forces will have to take over the positions around Bakhmut and continue this bloody and costly offensive.
He has repeatedly complained that the Russian Ministry of Defense does not provide Wagner with enough ammunition, especially when it comes to artillery shells.
On Friday night, Prigozhin published a video where he stands by people who are supposed to be killed Wagner soldiers. In a tirade filled with profanity, he lashes out at Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian Defense Chief Valery Gerasimov.
It is unlikely to help create a better cooperative climate within the Russian forces.