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The leader of Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that the Russian army left part of their positions in Bakhmut and "exposed" part of the front, which had to be covered by the Wagnerites [fighters of Wagner Group – ed.]. He gave an ultimatum to the Russian Defence Ministry and the General Staff – if his mercenaries are not given ammunition, they will leave their positions.
Source: Prigozhin's press service
Quote: "We received a combat order, where it was said that withdrawal from the positions would be considered high treason. This, first of all, was aimed at us [Wagner Group – ed.]. If there is no ammunition, we will withdraw from our positions...
Instead of fighting, we [Russian forces – ed.] are constantly having intrigues. We have a Ministry of Intrigue instead of the Ministry of Defence, so our army is running away. It’s running because the 72nd brigade today [on 9 May – ed.] lost 3 square kilometres, on which I lost about 500 people because it was a strategic foothold. They just ran away...".
Details: Prigozhin attacked the Russian Defenсe Ministry with another batch of criticism. According to him, despite the promised ammunition and the appointment of Sergei Surovikin, almost no changes occurred.
He said the Wagnerites were allocated 10% of what they demanded: "We were deceived". Prigozhin said that Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation, personally reduced the number of weapons they wanted to allocate to the Wagner Group.
At the same time, Prigozhin said that his mercenaries would remain on the Bakhmut front: "We will fight, and then we will figure it out".
According to him, Surovikin is constantly at meetings and is not available. However, Prigozhin welcomes his appointment as an intermediary between the Russian Defence Ministry and private military companies [such as Wagner – ed.].
Russia said that the Russian military is not to blame for fleeing their positions because "fish rots from the head down", and those who gave them these tasks are to blame. He considers the leadership of the Ministry of Defence "fools", and the functions that are given from there to generals and directly to the military – "criminal": "There is a crime called the destruction of the Russian people – high treason."
The PMC head also accused Gazprom's Fakel PMC of fleeing, calling it "an anal plug slipping out".
In the video, Prigozhin often repeats the thesis that the biggest enemy of Russia is not the Armed Forces of Ukraine but those "scoundrels" who do not give them weapons. He claims that there is ammunition, which is accumulated in storages because someone came up with the idea to collect a "reserve". The PMC leader said he would not mention these names again to avoid swearing.
He also praises the "enemy", that is, the Ukrainian defenders.
On 5 May, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner private military company, wrote a letter to the Russian Defence Ministry stating that he would be withdrawing his mercenaries from Bakhmut after 10 May.
He claimed that the reason for the move was that the Ministry of Defence did not give his fighters enough ammunition, and he did not want his people to be "doomed to a senseless death" because of this.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are sceptical about the claim made by Prigozhin that soldiers will start withdrawing from Bakhmut on 10 May.
Later, Kadyrov suggested his help in the occupation of Bakhmut.
On 6 May, Prigozhin announced that he would supposedly hand over the positions of his fighters in Bakhmut to Kadyrov's soldiers.