The head of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, Evgeny Prigogine, said on Monday, March 20, that his men are in control of the “about 70%” In the town of Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine, the scene of fierce fighting since last summer.
In Bakhmut, “occupy positions at any cost.”
“Currently, Wagner units control about 70% of Bakhmut and continue their offensive to liberate it completely.”said Yevgeny Prigogine in a letter addressed to the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, and published by his press service on Telegram. These statements cannot be verified from independent sources.
sequel after announcement
Yevgeny Prigogine also said that he expects a counterattack by Ukrainian forces at the end of March and the beginning of April, and aims, according to him, to “They cut off Wagner’s units from the main forces of the Russian army”.
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Sergei Shoigu asked ” take measures “ To prevent this situation from happening.
The conflict between the Wagner Group and the Russian army
Yevgeny Prigogine is in open conflict with the Russian army hierarchy, who accuses him of knowingly not providing enough ammunition to his men and has publicly attacked Sergei Shoigu on several occasions. The city of Bakhmut, which had a population of 70,000 before the war, has become a symbol of the struggle between the Russians and Ukrainians for control of the industrial Donbass region, due to the length of the battle and the heavy losses incurred by both sides.
Ukraine is preparing a counterattack against the advancing Russian forces in Bakhmut
Russian forces have advanced in recent weeks north and south of the city, cutting off several Ukrainian supply routes and capturing the eastern part of the city. Despite the threat of encirclement and the contested strategic importance of the city, Ukrainian officials emphasized their intention to continue to defend it for as long as possible.