Russian mercenary captain says he was told to stay in Bakhmut or be branded a traitor

  • Mercenary Boss issues new tirades against Top Brass
  • say you don’t have the ammo you need yet
  • Reawakens the specter of exodus from Bahmut
  • says he was told his exit would be a betrayal

May 9 (Reuters) – The chief of Russia’s Wagner mercenary unit fighting in eastern Ukraine said on Tuesday that he and his men would be considered traitors if he gave up his position in the city of Bakhmut.

However, Evgeny Prigozhin said a second time within days that his troops would leave Bakhmut if they did not receive the ammunition they needed for the battle.

He delivered his latest tirade in an audio message laced with profanity as Russia marked the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II in that traditional parade On the Red Square in Moscow.

“Yesterday, a combat order was issued that clearly stated that leaving the (Bahmut) position would be considered treason against the motherland. That was the message for us,” Prigozin said.

“[But]if we don’t have ammunition, we will be the ones who will step aside and ask who is really betraying our country. Clearly,[who is betraying our country]and It’s the person who signed the ammunition.”

His unit will stay in Bahmut and continue to insist on getting ammunition for “a few more days,” he said.

Prigogine has previously accused the Ministry of Defense of deliberately depleting its military’s ammunition. The ministry said it is working to ensure all battlefield units have what they need.

Late Monday, Prigozhin said there were signs the ammunition issue was being resolved, but on Tuesday it said the size of the shipment had been reduced.

“They only gave us 10% of what we asked for. We were cheated,” he said.

Evgeny Prigozhin, founder of Wagner’s private mercenary group, is a Russian military officer, widely known by the name of Vladren Tatarsky, who was recently killed in a bombing attack on a Saint Petersburg cafe in Moscow, Russia, on April 8. Leaving the cemetery before the funeral of blogger Maxim Fomin. , 2023. REUTERS/Yulia Morozova/File Photo

“Fish rotten from the head”

Prigozhin, who has been embroiled in a long-running feud with the Ministry of Defense, recently released a series of emotional statements, saying they would stay after announcing that his troops would be withdrawing from Bakhmut due to ammunition problems. rice field. suggesting that they may leave.

he made Incomprehensible but crude comments The overall responsibility for Russia’s war against Ukraine on Tuesday vaguely referred to a ‘grandfather’ figure who had the false impression that all was well with Russia’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine. .

“Our children, grandchildren, who are the future of Russia, and how can we win this war – by chance, and I’m guessing here – that this grandfather is a complete *** What will the state do if it turns out *head?” he asked.

Prigozhin previously despised Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, but avoided any personal criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

Analyst Said His erratic behavior looks like an attempt to deflect responsibility for not having quick success.

Prigozhin, who said his men controlled 95% of Bahmut, according to Defense Ministry investigations, claimed that some regular troops had fled from nearby positions while temporarily covering Wagner’s flank.

“It’s not about the soldiers. The problem has to do with the people who manage them and give them the assignments. The fish are rotten from the head,” he said, adding that they were given by what he called a narrow faction. Called the given order “criminal” and “traitor”.

Reuters was unable to independently verify his claims regarding the alleged incident involving the Abandoned Side.

(This article has been resubmitted to remove an extra word from paragraph 1)

Reporting by Lydia Kelly of Melbourne.Edited by Himani Sarkar

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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