War in Ukraine: Wagner Group, Putin’s private mercenary army, threatens to withdraw from Bakhmut

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Behind every word and action Russia says and does, there may be a hidden intent. For example: the curious drone attack on the Kremlin. Something exploded there, but nobody really knows what, how or why. Now the head of Putin’s private army, the mercenaries of the Wagner Group, he yelled very loudly that on May 10 he leaves Bakhmut.

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Bakhmut is an insignificant Ukrainian city, in which they hold Kiev and Moscow the longest battle of war. Its fall or conquest will mean a major setback or victory for both sides. Its value is symbolic, not strategic.

Allegedly the head of the group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is angry at the Russian regular army for not supplying it with ammunition. And without ammunition Prigozhin and his men go back. His mercenaries, many of whom are condemned and ready for anything, are Bakhmut’s spearhead. Without them the city will fall into the hands of the Ukrainians.

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Prigozhin has long complained about the lack of ammunition. Your complaint is not new. The May 10 ultimatum is new. Date, curiously, in which Russia assures that Ukraine will launch the long-awaited counter-offensive.

Yevgeny Prigozhin.  Photo: AP

Yevgeny Prigozhin. Photo: AP

So, is Prigozhin’s anger part of a well-known internecine struggle between the Russian General Staff and its mercenaries, or is it the excuse for move the Wagner Group to other locations the key to stopping the Kiev counter-offensive?

The facts

Prigozhin accused the Russian General Staff for months of not supplying him with sufficient ammunition because Wagner’s paramilitaries don’t score a win which would dwarf the regular army in Bakhmut.

Prigozhin’s attacks appear in two videos released on Friday by his press service an unprecedented level exposing the alleged high voltages existing among the Moscow forces.

“We would have taken the city of Bakhmut before May 9,” the day Moscow celebrates its victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 in grand style, Prigozhin said in one of his videos.

“When they saw him, Army bureaucrats halted deliveries” of ammunitionhe has declared.

“Therefore, on May 10, 2023 we will have to cede our positions to Bakhmut to MoD units and to withdraw Wagner units to the rear,” he said.

Prigozhin explained his decision by assuring that, out of ammunition, his men they face “an absurd death”. Strange subject, when Ukrainian soldiers’ accounts describe Wagner’s men, rushing like zombies to the front lines, to fight to the death. “They don’t stop until they drop dead.”

Yevgeny Prigozhin, furious, demands ammunition.  Photo: AFP

Yevgeny Prigozhin, furious, demands ammunition. Photo: AFP

“It’s like that movie about WWII. Zombies make war. It’s exactly the same. They walk over the dead bodies of their comrades. It’s really… interesting. To me, they do drugs. It’s not alcohol, it’s different. Why not , they feel scared. They don’t care if they are killed. They only collapse when they can’t walk,” explains Andrii, a Ukrainian soldier, about the fighters of the paramilitary group.

Prigozhin’s videos

It was unclear whether Prigozhin’s remarks were a firm decision or an ultimatum, as Wagner’s boss often makes such statements, before going back.

Analysts estimate that his public attacks on the military are aimed at putting pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to intervene on his behalf.

When asked about this, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said he had “seen these statements in the media”, but declined to comment.

In a second video, Prigozhin directly attacked Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov.

Walking at night among dozens of corpses presented as those of Wagner members recently killed in combat, he said: “These guys are from Wagner. they died todaytheir blood is still warm (…) They died so they could get fat in their offices!”

"These guys are from Wagner. They died today, their blood is still warm," Prigozhin said.  Photo: AFP

“These guys are from Wagner. They died today, their blood is still warm,” Prigozhin said. Photo: AFP

“You sit in your expensive clubs and your kids enjoy life, they make YouTube videos!” Prigozhin added, unleashing a barrage of insults.

“Shoigu! Gerasimov! Where is he?” my fucking ammo?” he yelled angrily.

Wagner has suffered heavy losses in recent months trying to take Bakhmut.


Where’s my fucking ammunition?” Prigozhin yells angrily. Photo: AFP

The paramilitary group captured most of the city, but failed to take the rest of the Ukrainian positions.

Although the Kremlin denies any tension within the Russian forces, Prigozhin’s latest statements indicate otherwise. Or is it simulation? With Russia, you never know.


Source: Clarin

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