The founder of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has intensified his angry attacks on the Russian Defense Ministry.
The mercenary’s boss, dubbed “Putin’s Chef,” said authorities are choosing to deprive Wagner of ammunition, which has slowed progress in the blood-soaked battle to take Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. “The goal is simple,” said Prigozhin: “PMC Wagner should not take Bakhmut.”
His comments, which were made during an interview with several Russian media outlets on Wednesday, are the latest development in an escalating war of words between Prigozhin and Russia’s official armed forces.
“Our actions today naturally arouse envy,” said Prigozhin, referring to jealousy among the Russian military establishment. “So because we have successes, while in other places successes are not what they would like to be, instead of – remember what Grandpa Lenin said: we all thought we were all destined to live well, but instead they made it so that everyone lived the same but poor.”
Prigozhin went on to say that all of Russia “supported” Wagner after the fall of Soledar – a salt mining town near Bakhmut – a victory he previously claimed was won “solely” by his mercenaries, despite statements to the contrary from the Russian Defense Ministry . After that success, Prigozhin claimed, the Kremlin’s attitude became, “Wagner should not capture Bakhmut under any circumstances.”
He said his mercenaries have since been deprived of ammunition, bringing “shell hunger” into battle, but that “Wagner will take Bakhmut anyway.” He said that this will happen “not because Prigozhin wants it”, but: “Bitch, we have to prove to the whole world that the Russians can do it!”
After Prigozhin fired a series of other military targets in Ukraine, furious: “Whatever it is, take something with you!”
The mercenary chief also moaned about not having access to military phones. ‘Let me have the phone! Put listening devices on it,’ Prigozhin said. “Know what I’m talking about, and call me once in a while and say, ‘Prigozhin, you’re an asshole, go fuck yourself,’ and hang up. At least like that. What’s the point of cutting it?
He said it would be better to be insulted by Ministry of Defense commanders than the current communications blackout, which could endanger his life. “Is it that when my pilot takes to the air, he can’t warn the air defense not to shoot me down because I’m flying?” asked Prigozhing. “You shouldn’t be playing kindergarten. War is very serious work.”
Internal tensions have been running between Wagner and Russian President Vladimir Putin for months. Prigozhin’s latest outbursts come after he was banned from Russian military command earlier this month. He has also accused Kremlin commanders of “betraying the Motherland” and of trying to “destroy” Wagner by throttling supplies.
The battle for complete control of Bakhmut remains intense. Denis Pushilin, Russia’s puppet leader in the Donetsk region, told state media agency TASS on Thursday that the situation in Bakhmut “remains complicated and difficult,” and that he did not “see that there are any conditions that the enemy will simply withdraw.” units.”