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Prigozhin claims Moscow promised Wagner Group 'as much ammunition and weapons as needed'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 7, 2023 2:18 PM 2 min read
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Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russian private military company Wagner Group, claimed on May 7 that Russia's Defense Ministry has promised to provide "as much ammunition and weapons as needed" to continue the Russian offensive against Bakhmut.

"They promise that everything necessary will be put up on the flank so the enemy does not cut us off," Prigozhin said, adding that he was told Russian forces in the area could act "as they see fit."

Prigozhin noted that Russian General Sergey Surovikin was appointed to "make all decisions" regarding the Wagner Group's combat operations in cooperation with Russia's Defense Ministry.

His claim comes two days after he announced that the Wagner Group would leave Bakhmut on May 10 due to a lack of ammunition. He also recorded an insult-laden address to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

Prigozhin said Wagner's offensive resources ended in April, resulting in their losses "growing exponentially daily."

"I am withdrawing Wagner units from Bakhmut because, in the absence of ammunition, they are doomed to a senseless death," Prigozhin said.

On May 6, he said that Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov's forces would replace Wagner mercenaries in Bakhmut.

The Russian military leadership has struggled to respond to Prigozhin’s public insults and appealed to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to intervene, leaked U.S. intelligence documents show, the Washington Post reported on May 5.

Prigozhin’s rants suggest that the pleas have fallen on Putin’s "deaf ears," according to the report.

The threat to withdraw the mercenaries from Bakhmut is a "last-ditch effort to cling to a prominent role in the invasion," the Washington Post reported.Bakhmut has been the epicenter of fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces for the past nine months. Wagner mercenaries have served as the primary shock troops in Russia's attempts to expand its control over Donetsk Oblast. However, in the past nine months, they have only made incremental gains, with Ukraine still holding parts of the city.

Ukraine war latest: Russia attempts to seize Bakhmut, as mercenary boss says Wagner to withdraw due to ammunition shortage
Key developments on May 5: * Ukraine retrieves bodies of 80 fallen soldiers * Russia tries to seize Bakhmut by May 9, Defense Ministry says * Wagner mercenaries to withdraw from Bakhmut on May 10 due to ‘ammo lack,’ Prigozhin claims in another vocal exchange with top military command * Drone st…
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