Russia's Prigozhin says no further offensive in Bakhmut possible without ammunition

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(Reuters) - The head of Russia's mercenary Wagner Group said on Saturday that he had still not received additional ammunition from Moscow ahead of the expected withdrawal of his forces from Bakhmut because of heavy losses and inadequate supplies.

"As of today, no one has come to replenish ammunition, to provide it in the necessary volume," Prigozhin said in an audio message posted on the Telegram channel of his press service. "There can be no offensive without a counter-battery fight, without defeating the enemy's means."

Wagner forces, he said, had no ammunition and could not pursue any further offensives near the city, under Russian siege for some 10 months.

"Because I will lead more men to certain death. On the 10th (of May), we will start withdrawing units," he said.

He added that his forces have taken 95% of Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine that had a population of more than 70,000 before the war.

Prigozhin has, however, prematurely claimed successes before. Reuters was not able to independently verify the claim.

"The remaining 5% plays no role in the so-called development of success and the Red Army's march to the West," he said.

(Reporting by Nick Starkov and Ron Popeski, Editing by Lidia Kelly and Chizu Nomiyama)