Ukraine’s counter-offensive is pushing back the Russian military, the head of Russia’s notorious Wagner Group said in an explosive attack on its own allies.
Talking to the camera in a video Uploaded to Telegram on Friday, Yevgeny Prigozhin said that « the Russian army is in retreat on the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson fronts, » adding that troops in Kiev are « pushing back the Russian army. »
At the same time, the outspoken billionaire questioned the Kremlin’s rationale for starting the war, admitting that « the Armed Forces of Ukraine were not going to attack Russia with NATO. »
President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle have repeatedly said they have begun their offensive to prevent the country from being used as a springboard for a Western-backed war against Russia itself, without presenting evidence to back up the claims.
In reality, Prigozhin continued, « the war was necessary for a bunch of assholes to triumph and show how strong they are as an army, » adding that it was part of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s plan to get a promotion. According to him, Shoigu is responsible for the battlefield setbacks due to having « killed thousands of the most combat-ready Russian soldiers in the first days of the war. »
The half-hour clip is the latest in a series of furious quarrels between the head of the Wagner group and the Russian conventional armed forces. Thursday, Prigozhin claimed Shoigu is hiding « colossal » failures in Ukraine from Putin himself. Meanwhile, the British Ministry of Defense She said last week the feud between the two was likely reaching a « pivot point » in a row over Moscow’s efforts to get mercenary fighters to sign formal contracts.
Putin has previously said his forces are effectively repelling a Ukrainian counter-offensive, insisting that Kiev « is suffering heavy losses, both in personnel and equipment ».
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has acknowledged that the effort to recapture occupied territory in the south and east of the country is slower than expected, the head of his ground forces said the Guardian Friday everything would go according to plan.
« Everyone wants to get a big win instantly and right away, » said Oleksandr Syrskyi. “And us too. But we have to be prepared for this process to take some time. »