Prigozhin: Wagner will leave Bakhmut on May 10 due to lack of ammunition

Authored by and submitted by KI_official

The Wagner mercenary group will leave Bakhmut on May 10 due to lack of ammunition, founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a video published online by his press service on May 5.

According to Prigozhin, Wagner's offensive resources ended in April, and as a result, their losses "are growing exponentially every day."

"I am withdrawing Wagner units from Bakhmut because, in the absence of ammunition, they are doomed to a senseless death," Prigozhin said, adding that the Bakhmut offensive will be handed over to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The date of the withdrawal is highly symbolic as it occurs one day after May 9, a major holiday in Russia to commemorate the Soviet Union's victory against Nazi Germany during World War II, a symbolism which Prigozhin himself acknowledged in his talking points.

On May 5, Prigozhin published an expletive-laden video showing dozens of dead Russian soldiers, lashing out at the Russian military for its failure to provide his forces with ammunition.

Regarding the public nature of these clashes, Prigozhin alleged in his latest update that he had been reporting logistical issues to Russian officials since March 19, 2022, and "not a single letter" was considered, leading him to make public appeals.

The mercenary group founder then went on to say that not supplying enough ammunition was "depriving the people of Russia of victory."

"Whoever has critical comments, come to Bakhmut, welcome, stand up with weapons instead of our dead comrades," he added.

Bakhmut has been the epicenter of fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces for the past nine months. Wagner mercenaries have served as the primary shock troops in Russia's attempts to expand its control over Donetsk Oblast. However, in the past nine months, they have only made incremental gains, with Ukraine still holding parts of the city.

bacondavis on May 5th, 2023 at 15:22 UTC » @IuliiaMendel

Ukrainian army is sceptical of the Prigozhin’s statement that the militants will start leaving Bakhmut on May 10. Serhiy Cherevaty, spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in a comment to Ukrainska Pravda, said that Wagner's men will simply not be allowed to leave the city, because Prigozhin does not decide anything here, all the actions of the Wagner PMC are personally commanded by Putin. Secondly, Cherevaty emphasizes, Prigozhin is also lying about the lack of shells that allegedly killed his men. In fact, the Wagner militants are suffering huge losses due to the successful actions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

rcglinsk on May 5th, 2023 at 15:05 UTC »

Prigozhin has said some nutty thing on a regular basis for months now. My impression so far has been this broken clock doesn't even manage right once a day.

Few-Hair-5382 on May 5th, 2023 at 13:07 UTC »

Not sure what to make of this. I see two likely explanations:

First, he is just using blackmail to force the Kremlin to better equip and arm his outfit. For six months now Gerasimov has been been deliberately grinding down Wagner to diminish Prigozhin's power, whilst at the same time remaining aware that the Russian military desperately needs Wagner's manpower on the frontline. So Prigozhin is just making what is most likely an empty threat.

Secondly, it could be genuine. Wagner is largely a spent force, most of their more experienced and better trained fighters are either dead or wounded, the pool of prisoners has dried up now that there is better awareness amongst convicts of the rotten deal they were offered, and they aren't being properly equipped. So they have to withdraw but Prigozhin is saving face by blaming the Kremlin rather than admitting he no longer has a functioning private army.