Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia's Wagner mercenary group, on Feb. 22 criticized Russia's Defense Ministry for not providing his troops with enough ammunition.
On his Telegram channel, Prigozhin posted a photo of dozens of bodies that he claimed belonged to Wagner fighters killed on the previous day.
Along with the image, Prigozhin shared an audio interview in which he expressed his frustration towards the Defense Ministry for not providing his forces with adequate means to fight.
This statement comes as Wagner reportedly suffers heavy losses in the ongoing battles in Donetsk Oblast, particularly in the Bakhmut area.
The Kremlin-controlled mercenary group Wagner, along with the Russian regular forces, have been attempting to capture Bakhmut for months as Moscow tries to consolidate its grip over the entirety of Ukraine's Donetsk Oblast, around half of which it currently controls.
According to Ukraine's Defense Ministry, Russian-backed militant groups active in eastern Ukraine are losing up to 80% of some assault units.
"It should have been five times less," Prigozhin said, referring to the death toll as he criticized the Russian Defense Ministry for ignoring his calls for more ammunition.
At the same time, Wagner's supporters left thousands of comments under a video of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's speech in Moscow on Feb. 21, asking him to provide Wagner with shells, BBC Russia reported.
Prigozhin has intensified his rivalry with the Russian Defense Ministry over the past month. According to the Institute for the Study of War, he is trying to establish his mercenary group as an independent elite force in his quest for power in Russia.
On Feb. 21, Prigozhin accused Russia's "chief of the General Staff and the defense minister" of withholding ammunition and supplies from his fighters to try to destroy Wagner, arguing that this was "treason."