The head of Wagner’s mercenary group said on Sunday that Russia promised fighters enough ammunition to stay in Bahmut after threatening to withdraw in a scathing video.
Conflicts between Yevgeny Prigozhin and the conventional army surfaced during the fighting over a town in eastern Ukraine where Wagner was leading the attack.
That’s because Russia has reported an increase in drone attacks and sabotage amid speculation that a spring counterattack from Ukraine is expected.
“We received combat orders overnight…they promised to provide all necessary ammunition and weapons to continue the operation,” Prigozhin said in Bakhmut.
He added that he is confident his group will be “provided with everything they need.”
On Friday, he threatened to withdraw from Bakhmut on May 10 and blamed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov for “tens of thousands” of Russian casualties in a series of heavily blown videos. made it
“Their unprofessionalism is destroying tens of thousands of Russians and it is unacceptable,” he said at the time.
In one video, Prigogine was seen showing a line of dead Wagnerian fighters that he said were dead.
“They come here as volunteers and are dying so you can get fat in the wood-paneled office,” he said.
-“Ready to move”-
On Saturday, he asked Moscow to hand over his position to Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.
Kadyrov, who has ruled Russia’s predominantly Muslim Chechen republic for the past decade and a half, said his men were “ready to move” to Bakhmut.
For months, Prigogine has accused the regular army of refusing to deliver ammunition to his men.
Still, the emotional language used in Friday’s video and the personal criticism of the leader of the Russian campaign in Ukraine was unprecedented.
Prigozhin said on Sunday that one of Gerasimov’s deputies, Russian General Sergey Slovikin, would oversee Wagner’s operations.
“He’s the only decorated general who knows how to fight,” Prigozhin said in a new dig into Russia’s other army chiefs.
Slovikin, who has a reputation for the ruthlessness that Wagner admired, was appointed commander of the Ukrainian army in October.
Three months later he was replaced by Gerasimov, whom Prigogine regularly criticizes.
Russian forces have been fighting since last summer to secure Bakhmut, a city whose political importance outweighs its strategic value.
On Saturday, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maryal said Russia was concentrating its “maximum efforts” on Bakhmut.
– “Nuclear Safety” –
Ukraine is gearing up for a counterattack aimed at repelling Russian forces from territories it has acquired in the east and south.
Reports of drone strikes and sabotage attempts have increased, experts suggest, as part of Ukraine’s preparations to strike back.
The strike comes ahead of Russia’s May 9 public holiday, which celebrates the Soviet victory over the Nazis in World War II.
On Sunday, the Russian military said it had defeated 22 Ukrainian drones in the Black Sea.
Shortly after, authorities in Russia-annexed Crimea, which is surrounded by the Black and Azov Seas, said they had shot down more than a dozen drones in the southern part of the peninsula.
Russian security officials also said they thwarted a drone attack on an airfield in the Ivanovo region.
Moscow has blamed Ukraine and its “Western cares” for the car bomb that injured prominent nationalist writer Zakhar Prilepin and killed his assistant on Saturday.
In a counteroffensive, Moscow has ordered families with children and the elderly to temporarily evacuate many Russian-controlled areas of southern Ukraine, including towns near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
“The general situation in the area near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is becoming increasingly unpredictable and potentially dangerous,” said Rafael Grossi, head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog on Saturday. said to
“We are very concerned that the nuclear safety and security risks facing nuclear power plants are very real.”