Nearly two months ago, the leader of Wagner Group made it clear that Vladimir Putin is failing/refusing to provide adequate ammunition for the private army that’s been pulling off his few wins in Ukraine. Yevgeny Prigozhin even detailed how Putin was not taking his calls and had essentially left the mercenaries dangling in the wind. In retrospect, Putin’s evasion shouldn’t be too surprising, given that the Russian troops are running so low on their own supplies that they must use antiquated ammo that could “explode in your face.” Two months later, Putin’s treatment of the Wagner Group has grown to be too much for Prigozhin, who filmed a video to directly call out “the supreme commander-in-chief,” i.e. Putin.
The Daily Beast detailed the background leading up to the rant, which includes Wagner engaging in protracted conflict for Bakhmut. Prigozhin now insists that he will pull the Wagner Group out “because in the absence of ammunition they are being doomed to a senseless death.” Additionally, the video shows the bodies of several dead soldiers, and Prigozhin furiously ranted:
These were someone’s fucking fathers! And someone’s sons!” Prigozhin fumed in the footage. “And those bastards who don’t give us ammunition will fucking eat their guts in fucking hell!”
The video opens with Prigozhin pointing a flashlight on his apparently lifeless mercenaries and saying they were Wagner recruits who died on the day the footage was recorded. “Their blood is still fresh,” he said before instructing the cameraman to make sure he films all of the corpses.
The (graphic) footage can be viewed on Twitter as posted by Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko. The video also included Prigozhin’s professed desire to keep fighting for the Russia people, although it seems clear that he is near the end of his rope. He will “withdraw what’s left of Wagner” and “lick our wounds,” and go from there. Whether that means a full withdrawal, no one knows, but any war effort that fails to provide basic ammo and even medical supplies surely cannot last much longer.
(Via The Daily Beast)