Wagner Head Says Moscow Promised More Arms After Threats to Leave Bakhmut

Yevgeny Prigozhin slammed Russian leadership in a video recorded with corpses of Wagner fighters

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Russian mercenary outfit Wagner Group, said he was promised his fighters would get as much ammunition and weapons as needed to continue fighting in Bakhmut.

The assurance from Moscow came after Prigozhin said his forces would withdraw from Bakhmut on May 10 over a lack of support. The threat to quit the battle came after Prigozhin posted a video to Telegram where he slammed Russia’s military leadership and showed dozens of corpses of Wagner fighters.

According to RT, in a voice note posted on Telegram on Sunday, Prigozhin said he received “a military instruction … in which we were promised as much ammunition and weapons as we need to continue our activities.”

Prigozhin said Gen. Sergey Surovikin, who led Russia’s war from October to January, has been coordinating between Wagner and the Russian military. “This is the only man with the star of an army general who knows how to fight,” Prigozhin said of Surovikin. “No other army general is reasonable.”

Military situation in Bakhmut on May 7, 2023 (SouthFront.org)

Wagner has been doing much of the fighting in Bakhmut, and Prigozhin has been increasingly critical of Russia’s military leadership as his force has taken heavy losses. Russia controls the vast majority of Bakhmut, but Ukrainian forces are still holding out on the western edges of the city.

Ukrainian soldiers have also complained about the lack of support from their military leadership. Ukrainians fighting on the frontlines have said fresh recruits were being poured into the brutal battle of Bakhmut, which has become known as the meat grinder, with little training and ammunition.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.