Prigozhin announced the beginning of the withdrawal of the Wagnerites from Bakhmut
The founder of the so-called PMC “Wagner” Yevgeny Prigozhin announced the beginning of the withdrawal of PMC mercenaries from the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, which was announced by Prigozhin himself and the Russian authorities the other day.
According to the video published by Prigozhin this morning, these units are planned to be withdrawn to some “rear camps” by June 1, and regular units of the Russian army will take their place in Bakhmut. In the future, as Prigozhin claims, the Wagnerites “will receive new combat tasks.”
Prigozhin declared that the fighters of PMC “Wagner” would be withdrawn from Bakhmut, immediately after he announced the capture of the city. At the same time, in the last video, he alludes to the fact that some Wagnerians may stay in the city under certain circumstances. “If it will be difficult for the military, of course, we will leave those who had the main role in the capture of Bakhmut,” Prigozhin says in the video. The Ministry of Defense has not yet commented on the messages.
The other day, Russia announced the final capture of Bakhmut, a city for which the fighting lasted for more than 220 days. Videos published in recent days by Russian mass media and Telegram channels show that Russian units have reached the western borders of the city at least in some areas. Ukraine claims that its units still control a number of objects in the city.
Units of PMC “Wagner” took an active part in the battles and suffered heavy losses. According to Prigozhin himself, since the beginning of the invasion, his formation lost 20,000 mercenaries, half of whom were prisoners. In total, 50 thousand people were recruited from the colonies, according to the businessman.
Against the background of the battles for Bakhmut, Prigozhin repeatedly published videos with sharp criticism of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. In an interview published on May 23 with political consultant Konstantin Dolgov, the founder of PMC “Wagner” stated that instead of the declared goal of “demilitarization” of Ukraine in February 2022, the Kremlin achieved the opposite effect, and the Ukrainian army became one of the strongest in the world.