Lack of ammunition, Wagner chief castigates Russian military leadership

Prigozhin in the video claims that they had these casualties in just one day of fighting

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Web Desk
 
Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin can be seen pointing towards the corpses of his private mercenaries. — Screengrab/Youtube/Reuters
Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin can be seen pointing towards the corpses of his private mercenaries. — Screengrab/Youtube/Reuters

Russian private military group's chief criticised Russian military decision-makers for not sending enough arms and support to the battlefield, blaming the defence chiefs for the thousands of casualties as a result.

In a video that was posted on Thursday on Telegram, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said in Russian: "We are lacking 70% of the needed ammunition!"

The video was said to have been from the front lines of the battlefield where, according to the chief, the bodies of the mercenaries were lying.

Prigozhin in the video claimed that they had these casualties in just one day of fighting.

The chief can be seen shouting angrily saying: "Shoigu, Gerasimov, where … is the ammunition?," calling out Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of the Russian armed forces Gen. Valery Gerasimov.

Pointing bodies behind him, he said: "The blood is still fresh. They came here as volunteers and are dying so you can sit like fat cats in your luxury offices."

Ukrainian service members from a 3rd separate assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, fire a howitzer D30 at a front line, amid Russias attack on Ukraine, near the city of Bakhmut, Ukraine April 23, 2023. — Reuters
Ukrainian service members from a 3rd separate assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, fire a howitzer D30 at a front line, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, near the city of Bakhmut, Ukraine April 23, 2023. — Reuters

Another video was released Friday on a similar platform in which the Wagner chief can be listened to in Russian as saying: "The dead and wounded — and that's tens of thousands of men — lie on the conscience of those who did not give us ammunition, and this is Defense Minister Shoigu and this is Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov."

He added: "For tens of thousands of those killed and wounded, they will bear responsibility before their mothers and children, and I will make sure of that."

However, he praised in the same video message, the former Deputy Defense Minister Mikhail Mizintsev, who became part of the Wagner Group as deputy commander.

Prigozhin has been present in the frontlines where the actual fighting is taking place in the past several months. He has also asserted his claims of securing territories from Ukraine, particularly in the battles raging around the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

Ukrainian servicemen fire a self-propelled howitzer toward Russian positions, amid Russias attack on Ukraine, on a frontline in Mykolaiv region, Ukraine November 2, 2022. — Reuters
Ukrainian servicemen fire a self-propelled howitzer toward Russian positions, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, on a frontline in Mykolaiv region, Ukraine November 2, 2022. — Reuters

The Russian military said that "amid the public feud, Shoigu inspected troops and military equipment in Russia's southern military district on Friday where he promised military supplies."

The statement said Shoigu has instructed "to keep under special control the issues of continuous and rhythmic supply of the groups of troops in the areas of the special military operation with all the necessary weapons and military equipment."

The Wagner chief Prigozhin has been continuously asking authorities for ammo support as they are said to be running in short supply of ammunition and insufficient support from Moscow.

He posted with a similar method, a picture on Telegram, however, shortly after the post, he said a shipment of ammunition was on its way to the Wagner troops.

He has also threatened to withdraw his troops from the frontlines if he did not receive enough support to sustain the war.

He said in a separate statement on Telegram Friday that Wagner would leave Bakhmut on May 10 due to a lack of ammunition.

"I declare on behalf of the Wagner fighters, on behalf of the Wagner command, that on May 10, 2023, we are obliged to transfer positions in settlement of Bakhmut to units of the Defense Ministry and withdraw the remains of Wagner to logistics camps to lick our wounds," Prigozhin said.

He added: "I'm withdrawing Wagner PMC units because, without ammunition, they are doomed to a senseless death."