‘Treason!’ Wagner boss slams Russia’s military leaders

‘Treason!’ Wagner boss slams Russia’s military leaders
Опубликовано: Tuesday, 21 February 2023 12:38

They want to ‘destroy’ Wagner, says Yevgeny Prigozhin about Russia’s defense minister and army chief.

A feud in the Russian military is beginning to boil over.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the private Wagner Group, has claimed that the Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, and the chief of the general staff, Valery Gerasimov, are trying to “destroy” Wagner — marking an escalation in hostilities between the influential paramilitary boss and Russia’s military establishment.

“The chief of the general staff and the minister of defense are giving away orders to the left and right, which say that Wagner PMC should not only not be given ammo, but also no help with air transport,” Prigozhin is heard saying in a voice message posted on the Telegram channel of his company Concord’s press service Tuesday.

“There is a direct counterwork,” he said, and an “attempt to destroy PMC Wagner.”

Prigozhin also said that the military leadership’s actions could amount to “treason” at a time when his group is fighting to capture Ukraine’s Bakhmut with hundreds of its fighters.

The Wagner Group has brought in tens of thousands of prisoners from Russia to fight on the Ukrainian front line to help Moscow boost its eastern offensive.

Prigozhin’s remarks are another sign of infighting in the Russian military. Ultranationalist figures such as Prigozhin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov have long pushed for a restructuring of the top echelons of the military command.

The Wagner boss has been continuously increasing power in the shrinking inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin, detailed in cables and documents obtained and analyzed by POLITICO.

Sarah Anne Aarup contributed reporting.

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