By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BAKHMUT/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – The leader of Russia’s Wagner Group of mercenaries says he will withdraw his troops from Bakhmut two long months after he claimed the capture of the eastern Ukrainian city was near.
Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed his fighters had planned to capture Ukraine’s devastated eastern city of Bakhmut by May 9, Russia’s Victory Day holiday celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany.
However, Prigozhin, a wealthy entrepreneur with longtime links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said they were undersupplied and suffering heavy losses and would hand over operations to the regular army on May 10.
If carried out, it would end their involvement in the longest and bloodiest battle of the war since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February last year.
A newly released video shows Wagner Group leader Prigozhin shouting, swearing, and pointing at about 30 uniformed bodies lying on the ground.
He says they are Wagner fighters who died on Thursday alone. He demands ammunition from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov. “These are someone’s fathers and someone’s sons,” Prigozhin says. “We have a 70 percent shortage of ammunition. Shoigu! Gerasimov! Where is the ammunition?”.
He warns that, in his words, “the scum that doesn’t give us ammunition will eat their guts in hell.”
Prigozhin’s video was expected to reignite tensions between Prigozhin and the Russian establishment, marking more trouble for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Additionally, Wagner’s withdrawal from Bakhmut would increase pressure on Russia’s military, which is already struggling to capture more territory in Ukraine.
In and around Bakhmut, thousands of soldiers are believed to have died on both sides, including in horrific trench-by-trench fighting resembling World War One.
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