Evgeny Prigozhin says Russian army unit abandoned positions in Bakhmut
Wagner Group founder Evgeny Prigozhin said in a new video posted to Telegram that a Russian Armed Forces unit abandoned its positions in the Bakhmut area on Tuesday.
“Today, one of the Russian Defense Ministry’s units ran from one of our flanks, abandoning its positions. All of them fled, exposing a section of the front that was nearly two kilometers (1.25 miles) long and 500 meters (0.31 miles) deep. Luckily, we managed to seal it,” said the tycoon.
Prigozhin said the unit in question was Russia’s 72nd Motorized Rifle Brigade. According to him, the brigade’s soldiers abandoned a strategic bridgehead where 500 Wagner mercenaries were killed. “They just got the hell out of dodge,” he said.
The paramilitary cartel’s leader didn’t specify which section of the front was left uncovered. Recent footage from the area has shown Ukrainian troops advancing in the village of Sakko i Vantsetti, north of Bakhmut, and taking over an abandoned Wagner Group position in Ozarianivka, south of the city.
Prigozhin said that the Ukrainian military is “tearing apart its flanks” in the Bakhmut area and regrouping its forces around Zaporizhzhia, and that Ukraine’s counteroffensive will begin soon.
He also said in the video that the Russian Defense Ministry has yet to provide Wagner Group with the ammunition it promised. On May 8, he said, the ministry held a meeting where it decided the mercenary group would receive 10 percent of the supplies it requested.
Prigozhin said that Wagner Group’s forces have not left Bakhmut for multiple days and plan to remain for several more days. He alleged that the Russian Defense Ministry has threatened to charge the mercenaries with high treason if they abandon the city.