Yevgeny Prigozhin, the millionaire owner of the Wagner Group military company that has spearheaded the Bakhmut offensive, has been at loggerheads with the Russian Defense Ministry and repeatedly accused it of failing to provide his forces with ammunition.
On Sunday, he again criticized top military brass for moving slowly to deliver the promised ammunition and questioned whether the delay was caused “by red tape or treason.”
On Monday, Prigozhin warned in a Russian social media post that the situation in Bakmut “will turn out to be a ‘pie’: The filling is the parts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine surrounded by us (in the case, of course, if there is a complete encirclement of Bakhmut), and the shell is, in fact, the Wagner” Group.
The commander of the Ukrainian land forces, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, noted after visiting Bakhmut that the fight has escalated with the deployment of additional Wagner forces.
Ukrainian troops, focused on defending the city’s north to prevent its encirclement, “have inflicted significant losses to the enemy, destroyed a large amount of equipment, forced the best Wagner assault units to be thrown into battle and reduced the enemy’s offensive potential”, he said.
It came as Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu toured Mariopul, a Ukrainian city that Russia has occupied since May last year, after months of blockade and relentless bombing.
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