The head of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhinannounced this Thursday the beginning of the withdrawal of his units from the city of Bakhmut and the transfer of their positions to the troops of the Russian Army.
“We carefully retreat”, Prigozhin said in a video posted on his Telegram channel.
This relief occurs when the Russian army is in trouble on the flanks of Bakhmut . According to kyivlost 20 square kilometers north and south of the city to Ukrainian forces.
It also happens after a raid fighters in the Russian border region of Belgorodwhich Moscow took more than 24 hours to repel, once again highlighting the difficulties of the Russian forces.
On May 21, the leader of the Wagnerites declared that his troops would withdraw as of this Thursday at the training camps in rear areas.
“We transfer the positions to the military, ammunition and even food rations”Prigozhin announced.
He added, ironically, that leave two Wagnerites in case the military needs help to defend their positions.
“Before June 1, we will all meet, rest, prepare, and then we will receive another mission. “Prigozhin told the crew of a tank.
Prior to the withdrawal of the Wagnerites, Prigozhin recognized that some 10,000 Russian convicts recruited by his group died in the battle for control of Bakhmut.
In an interview with an official political scientist, Konstantin Dolgovadmitted to having enlisted some 50,000 men in Russian prisons.
Prigozhin assured that lost in total about 15,000-16,000 men in that city in eastern Ukraine.
In addition, another similar number of Wagnerites had to leave the battlefield after suffering serious injuries.
to claims that Wagner is not qualified to participate in a new offensive after the heavy losses suffered, Prigozhin replied that he can still recruit 10,000 Russian men within a month.
The leader of the mercenaries estimated at 50,000-70,000 the dead on the Ukrainian side, when The United States estimated Russian losses at almost 100,000 in the battle of Bakhmut.
Last year, Prigozhin toured Russian prisons in an attempt to convince inmates to fight Wagner in the Ukraine, in exchange for a amnesty promised upon their return if they survived.
According to human rights sources, now it would be the Russian Ministry of Defense that would be recruiting in prisons to complete new private military companies easier to control than Wagner.
The Russian authorities acknowledge only 5,937 fallen on the Ukrainian battlefieldalthough independent sources estimate the dead Russians at more than 22,000 and the Ukrainians talk about some 200,000 casualtiesbetween dead, wounded and mutilated.
(With information from AFP and EFE)
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