The head of Russian mercenary outfit Wagner said his forces continue to suffer losses, as a video published Thursday showed him visiting a cemetery where the group’s fighters are buried.
Wagner forces have been spearheading offensives in eastern Ukraine, including on the city of Bakhmut, which has become the longest and bloodiest battle of Russia’s military campaign. Both sides have suffered heavy losses around Bakhmut.
A video distributed by his press service showed Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin standing in front of dozens of graves with wooden crosses and wreaths.
“They continue to bury Wagner fighters here, today there are no problems,” Prigozhin said in the video referring to the private military company he founded.
He admitted that the cemetery is “growing.”
“Those who fight sometimes die. That’s how life works,” he said.
Russian authorities have not given updated estimates of the losses since September 2022, when the defense ministry counted 5,937 dead.
This number does not include Wagner fighters, who are not part of the conventional army.
Western estimates suggest around 150,000 dead and wounded on each side.
Founded in 2014, Wagner has been implicated in conflicts in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Prigozhin had for months — until February — recruited prison inmates, promising amnesty upon their return to Russia if they survived the fighting in Ukraine.