Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov praised Russian mercenary group Wagner and chief Yevgeny Prigozhin for their operations in Ukraine.
Wagner’s units achieved “impressive success,” Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday. He further explained that he wanted to assemble his own troupe of professional mercenaries once he was no longer in government office. One photo showed Kadyrov together with Prigozhin. Their solidarity can be seen as a political signal because both are loyal to President Vladimir Putin but are bitter critics of Russia’s military leadership.
However, Prigozhin’s political influence appeared to be waning in recent weeks. The attack on the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine was carried out with heavy casualties, mainly by Wagner’s gunmen. Recently, they complained that the military was not giving them enough ammo. Russia is also using units from Chechnya in the war of aggression against Ukraine. Formally, they belong to the police and national guard, but in practice they mainly follow Kadyrov’s orders.
Prigozhin demands more supplies
On Friday, Wagner Group mercenaries released a video denouncing the Russian military for lack of supplies. Through a video in which a pile of corpses of their own men can be seen, they pointed out their own shortage of ammunition. “We are losing our fighters every day: it would only be half that if the military provided us with weapons and ammunition in a timely manner,” said one of the mercenaries in the video obtained by The Telegraph.
The video message had an effect – though not directly with the Russian military. In response to the video, Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group, repeated the same complaint. He said he would knock on every door to supply his boys with enough ammunition. He even agrees to be arrested for discrediting the armed forces. There is said to be a casualty rate of around 50% among Wagner’s recruits.
Rfi navigation account, time 20 minutes 02/19/2023, 16:54 | Act: 02/19/2023, 4:56 pm