Russia has been waging war in Ukraine since February 2022.
For months, Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have fought for control of the key city of Bakhmut in Ukraine.
Russia had employed the help of a paramilitary outfit, Wagner, in its war to capture the city but it seems to be losing that support.
Eko Hot Blog reports that Russia’s Wagner paramilitary, which has been at the forefront of the monthslong battle to capture Bakhmut, announced it will withdraw from the region on May 10.
Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin made the disclosure in a statement on Friday.
According to Prigozhin, the paramilitary outfit is withdrawing due to a lack of ammunition. He blamed Russia’s defense ministry.
“I’m pulling Wagner units out of Bakhmut because in the absence of ammunition they’re doomed to perish senselessly,” the group’s chief said.
He said Wagner’s positions in Bakhmut will be transferred to Russia’s regular forces.
Prigozhin published on Friday a video of himself standing among dozens of bloodied corpses, where he blamed Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for the losses Wagner has suffered in Ukraine, saying he was “getting fat” in his office while volunteer fighters die.
He addressed Shoigu, telling him Wagner had a “70% shortage of ammunition” and asking where the ammunition was. Prigozhin said that the group’s losses would be five times smaller if adequate supplies were available.
“These are Wagner lads who died today. The blood is still fresh,” Prigozhin said, pointing to the corpses around him. “They came here as volunteers and they’re dying so you can get fat in your offices.”
The battle for the strategically important city has become the longest and bloodiest of the war, with severe losses on both the Russian and Ukrainian sides.
Russian forces were adamant for months about capturing the city, which would be their first significant battlefield victory in some eight months.
The battle has drained both sides’ artillery reserves, with thousands of shells fired daily.
Wagner had consistently pleaded for more ammunition to secure a victory.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov condemned on Friday the alleged drone attack on the Kremlin earlier this week as a “hostile act,” accusing the United States of having had knowledge of the attack.
“It was clearly a hostile act, it is clear that the Kyiv terrorists could not have committed it without the knowledge of their masters,” Lavrov told a press conference in India.
He vowed that Moscow would respond with “concrete actions.”
Ukraine said it had “nothing to do” with the attack. The US also denied knowledge of the alleged attack.
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