The owner of Russia’s private military company Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin has taken to his Telegram account to issue a second withering broadside against defence chiefs in four days.
He said Russia did not deserve a millimetre of the victory of its grandfathers on Victory Day.
In footage handed to the media by Prigozhin, he said Ukrainians are “tearing the flanks” in the Bakhmut region, and are “regrouping in Zaporizhzhia”.
He also predicted a “counteroffensive will begin in the near future”.
In his statement, he said: “One of the units of the Ministry of Defence fled from one of our flanks. Leaving positions, everyone fled and abandoned (part of) the front line, almost two kilometres wide and 500 metres deep.”
Prigozhin also claimed the chief of the General Staff reduced the number of requested military equipment by ten times.
Mercenary boss says he needs ten times the ammunition Moscow has promised
“This is very bad. If this continues, we will not be able to fight,” Prigozhin stressed.
Prigozhin, a wealthy entrepreneur with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has led the push to jump-start Russia’s stalemated offensive in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk province.
On 5 May, he threatened to pull out his soldiers from the city of Bakhmut, citing high casualties and ammunition shortages.
Russia’s nine-month campaign to take Bakhmut has made the city the focus of the special military operation’s longest battle.