Wagner Chief Threatens to Pull Fighters from Bakhmut Over Ammo Shortage

Russian paramilitary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin on Friday threatened to pull his frontline fighters from Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine next week because of ammunition shortages, berating army chiefs in a grisly video.

“On May 10, 2023 we will have to hand over our positions in Bakhmut to units of the defense ministry and withdraw Wagner units to rear camps to lick our wounds,” Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a statement on Telegram.

“I will pull out Wagner units from Bakhmut because in the absence of ammunition they are facing a senseless death,” he said, adding that he was waiting for “orders to leave Bakhmut.”

Wagner fighters have taken a leading role in Russia’s campaign in Ukraine, spearheading the months-long fight to capture Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine — the longest and bloodiest battle so far.

Earlier, Prigozhin posted a video on Telegram showing rows of what he said were dead Wagner fighters.

In that footage, he singled out Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov for unprecedented criticism.

“Shoigu! Gerasimov! Where is my f*kcing ammunition?” an angry Prigozhin said in the video.

“They came here as volunteers and they are dying so you can get fat in your wood-panelled offices,” he said, standing by rows of bodies in military uniform.

“These guys are from Wagner. They died today. Their blood is still fresh,” he said, adding that army chiefs “will go to hell” for not sending ammunition.

“We have an ammunition shortage of 70 percent,” he said in his tirade, in which several expletives were bleeped out.

“You sit in your (bleeped) expensive clubs. Your children are full of life and film themselves in videos on YouTube.”

“You think you are the masters of life and you have the right to decide on their lives,” he said, pointing at the bodies.

Prigozhin is closely linked to President Vladimir Putin and the two started their careers in business and politics in their native Saint Petersburg following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Prigozhin is frequently critical of the Russian army’s top brass over the issue of ammunition but the level of criticism and emotive language are unprecedented.

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