Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of Russia’s Wagner Group mercenary force, says his forces will leave the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut on May 10.
“I declare on behalf of the Wagner fighters, on behalf of the Wagner command, that on May 10, 2023, we are obliged to transfer positions in the settlement of Bakhmut to units of the defence ministry and withdraw the remains of Wagner to logistics camps to lick our wounds,” Prigozhin said in a statement.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russian paramilitary outfit the Wagner Group, announced on Friday that his fighters will leave the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on May 10 due to a shortage of ammunition.
In a message posted on the press service of Prigozhin’s company Concord, Prigozhin addressed Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.
Prigozhin’s Wagner Group has been heavily involved in the months-long battle for Bakhmut. Hours earlier, he published a heated video aimed at Shoigu and Gerasimov, blaming them and their failure to provide more ammunition for the deaths of his fighters. On April 29, he threatened to pull his fighters out of the city if the ministry failed to deliver more supplies “immediately.”
Prigozhin said that due to a lack of ammunition, the Wagner Group would be handing over its positions in Bakhmut to the Russian defense ministry’s units.
“I am withdrawing Wagner units from Bakhmut, because in the absence of ammunition they are doomed to a senseless death,” Prigozhin said.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that he saw Prigozhin’s statement, but “can’t comment on it.”
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