The head of the Wagner paramilitary group accused the Russian military hierarchy on Tuesday of wanting to “deceive” Vladimir Putin about the offensive in Ukraine, in a new sign of his divergences with the General Staff, during the day that Russia commemorates the victory against the Nazis in 1945.
“If everything is done to deceive the commander in chief (Vladimir Putin)” The Russian people “will be furious if the war is lost,” Yevgeny Prigozhin said, once again accusing the army of not giving them the ammunition they need to fully conquer Bakhmut, the epicenter of the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Prigozhin confirmed that his mercenary units will not abandon this midnight still their positions in the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut despite not having received all the promised ammunition yet, because Moscow has made it clear that he would consider it a “treason against the homeland”.
“We will not leave artyomovsk (Bakhmut’s name in Russian), we will insist a few more days, we will fight and then it will be seen,” he said on his Telegram channel, although he denounced that, after receiving Moscow’s promise on Sunday that the “Wagnerites” would be provided with all the weapons and ammunition necessary to continue fighting in that city, finally we only “received the 10% of what we order”.
“Simply we were blatantly deceived”, stressed Prigozhin, who threatened last Friday to withdraw his units from Bakhmut on Wednesday due to the shortage of ammunition and the “senseless” death of his men therefore in this Ukrainian city.
He explained that also the day before “a combat order arrived in which it is clearly stated that the abandonment of the positions will be interpreted as a treason”.
“That was said to us, but if there is no ammunition we will abandon our positions and ask who is the real traitor, possibly, the one who signed the order”, indicated the boss of Wagner.
Prigozhin denounced that in the midst of these threats from Moscow, “one of the units of the Ministry of Defense has fled today from one of the flanks” in Bakhmut, protected by the Airborne Forces.
On Sunday, the head of the Wagner Group said that, in addition to the promise that there would be enough ammunition on this front, they assured him “everything will be done on the flanks so that the enemy does not attack” the Ukrainians and that the mercenaries can “act in Artiomovsk from the way they see fit.”
“Everything possible is being done so that the front collapses”he stressed, referring to the unit of the Russian Regular Army that “fled and abandoned its positions” on one of Bakhmut’s flanks and left an area almost 2 kilometers wide and 500 kilometers deep without protection.
Prigozhin held that Ukrainian forces are “ripping apart the flanks” in the direction of Bakhmut, where there are still 2.36 square kilometers to be taken, and they are regrouping in the neighboring region of Zaporizhzhia. “They will start a counteroffensive in the near future”he warned.
The businessman returned to attack the Russian military leadership in his already old confrontation with the defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimovwhen affirming that a “soldier should not die due to the absolute stupidity of his leadership.”
He maintained that the orders received by commanders in the field are “simply absolutely criminals”.
“And therefore I want to emphasize that there is a crime called “destruction of the Russian people, treason against the fatherland”, which is being committed “by a small group of people”.
Prigozhin also mentioned that he does not know why the Russian leadership has today to celebrate the Day of Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.
“Happy Victory Day to all our grandparents. Why we are celebrating it is a big question,” she said.
(With information from EFE)
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