Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, said on Thursday that Ukrainian forces had not abandoned the town of Bahmut, but even if they did, the mercenaries would need additional support from the Russian military to advance further, Reuters reported.
Evgeny Prigozhin, mercenary leader of the Russian Wagner groupPhoto: AFP / AFP / Profimedia
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group of Russian mercenaries, said Sunday evening that his forces raised the Russian flag at the administration building. Prigozhin said that from a “legal” perspective, Bahmuth was captured by Russia.
Kiev said on Monday that Russian forces were “very far” from capturing the eastern city of Bahmut, and fighting continued around an administration building where Wagner said a group of mercenaries had flown a Russian flag.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday that he would consider leaving the city if his forces risked being surrounded by Russian troops.
Wagner mercenaries are leading the battle for the city, which has become the bloodiest of the 13-month war, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said its capture would open up the battlefield and allow Russia to advance further into eastern Ukraine.
But Yevgeny Prigozhin, who in recent months has accused the Russian military leadership of incompetence for treason, said the prospect was still remote.
“It must be made clear that the enemy is not going anywhere,” he said on his Telegram channel.
Chief Wagner says that Ukrainian troops have organized a solid defense inside the city, especially along the railway lines and high-rise buildings in the west of the city, and if they leave, they will take up new positions on the outskirts. Ceasiv and West.
“That’s why, in my opinion, there is no talk of any (Russian) attack at the moment,” Prigozhin pointed out.
Prigozhin was dissatisfied with the support provided by the Russian military
He also said that Russia’s main forces, including those attacking neighboring areas of the front, were still not satisfied with the support they were receiving.
At the same time, he again criticized the army leadership for three problems he had been complaining about for a long time – flank protection, command structure and ammunition supply.
“The first thing is to make sure our flanks are well protected (with that big exclamation point),” he said.
“The second is to make sure we have a properly organized command,” Prigogine continued.
“I don’t know what to do”
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen General Sergey Surovykin, a close friend of General Sergey Surovykin, who led Russia’s campaign in Ukraine for months, and General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the general staff, took over operational command. “I don’t know what he’s doing,” Prigogine said.
“Third, it’s ammunition (another exclamation point),” he added, after previously accusing Moscow of running out of ammunition on several occasions.
Prigozhin’s heavy use of social media to promote himself and his mercenaries and criticize the Russian military establishment has led to speculation that he has political aspirations – which he has denied.
However, tensions with Moscow appeared to have eased after its representative was denied access to the Russian campaign’s headquarters in Ukraine a month ago. (news.ro)
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