Wagner Group leader delays withdrawal from Bakhmut, awaits ammunition
Moscow, May 8 (EFE).- Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, has decided to postpone his plan to abandon the war-torn city of Bakhmut in Ukraine.
Previously, he had intended to withdraw due to insufficient ammunition supplies.
In an audio message shared on Telegram, Prigozhin stated that his forces were still advancing in the eastern Ukrainian city, but they were awaiting the ammunition that had been promised by the Russian defense ministry.
According to Prigozhin, his units had made progress of 280 meters, while the Ukrainian forces maintained control over a little over 2 square kilometers.
He expressed optimism, saying, “We are moving forward. We are expecting to receive ammunition.”
Just last Friday, Prigozhin had issued a threat to withdraw his units from Bakhmut, located in the eastern Donetsk region, citing a lack of ammunition and significant casualties within the ranks of his private army.
In a video posted on his Telegram account, he announced the intention to hand over the positions in Bakhmut to defense ministry units on May 10, and redeploy his fighters to the rear for recovery.
Claiming that the absence of ammunition would lead to more deaths of his men, Prigozhin directed his statement to several key figures, including Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin, and the Russian people.
However, Prigozhin now states that the defense ministry has assured him of the necessary weapons and ammunition to sustain the fight in Bakhmut, where intense battles have been raging for over nine months.
The Wagner Group, whose ranks include convicts recruited specifically for the invasion of Ukraine, have been involved in clashes around cities including Bakhmut.
Prigozhin mentioned that they have been promised an ample supply of ammunition and weapons to prevent supplies being cut off by the enemy.
Previously, Prigozhin had expressed concern over losing approximately 100 men per day in Bakhmut due to the lack of ammunition.
During his daily press conference on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on Prigozhin’s threats. EFE