In a remarkable development, the head of the Russian military “Wagner” group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, threatened to withdraw part of his militants from the Bakhmut front in eastern Ukraine, in the event that the Russian army did not deliver the necessary ammunition to him.
Yesterday (Saturday), he said, in an interview with the Russian journalist Semyon Begov, that Wagner fighters have imposed control over most of the city of Bakhmut, but they are facing a shortage of ammunition. He emphasized that the Russian army’s warehouses are full of ammunition, warning that the current situation portends what he described as Wagner’s demise after a short period, and announced that his company had requested 4,000 ammunition for his fighters, although the clashes required 80,000 ammunition per day.
He pointed out that the Ukrainian army is constantly sending reinforcements to the Bakhmut front, while ammunition was cut off from its militants, and Wagner’s chief revealed that he had sent a letter to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu informing him of the problem of ammunition shortages. Prigozhin said that his fighters advanced 100 to 150 meters into the city, pointing out that only about 3 square kilometers of the city’s lands remain under the control of the Ukrainian forces, as he put it.
He revealed that Wagner’s losses amounted to 92 fighters, and that it could have been five times less if the required ammunition had been available.
For his part, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Sergey Cherivati, said that Russia cannot cut off the Ukrainian supply routes leading to Bakhmut, which has been severely damaged, stressing that the Russians did not succeed in disrupting the logistics of the defenders, despite the fighting on the road linking Bakhmut and Chasev Yar. He added, “Ukrainian forces are maintaining their positions along the road, and new roads have been built to Bakhmut, which allows us to continue to control.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed that he carried a gun and would have fought to the death with his inner circle if the Russians had stormed his presidential residence in Kiev at the start of the war.
“I know how to shoot,” he told 1+1 TV yesterday (Saturday). Can you imagine (a news headline like) the Russians capturing the President of Ukraine? This is a disgrace. I think that would have been a disgrace.”
Zelensky considered that the restoration of Crimea from Russia depends on Kiev’s continued acquisition of Western weapons.
And the Ukrainian Kherson authorities announced that the center of the southern province was subjected to heavy Russian bombing. And it reported that two people were killed and others were wounded, as a result of the continued Russian shelling of the district. She said that the Russians bombed Kherson more than 100 times during the past hours, using heavy artillery and drones, and that residential areas and a hospital were targeted.
While local officials in the Russian Bryansk region confirmed that civilians were killed in a Ukrainian bombing that targeted a village in the region. And the Russian Novosti Agency announced that two people were killed and four wounded in a Ukrainian bombing that targeted the city of Yasinovataya in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.