Home Headline Mercenary group leader Wagner describes Russian swings in Ukraine as ‘fantasies’

Mercenary group leader Wagner describes Russian swings in Ukraine as ‘fantasies’

The head of the paramilitary organization Wagner described today as “fantasies” the balance of Ukrainian losses claimed by Russia, which claims to have repelled two major offensives from Kiev in two days.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it repelled two “large-scale offensives” by Ukraine on Sunday and Monday in the occupied Donbass region of eastern Ukraine and killed “more than 1,500 Ukrainian soldiers” and destroyed “28 tanks”.

“These are just fantasies”, said Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a message published on the Telegram platform.

Killing 1,500 soldiers in a day is “a big massacre,” Wagner’s boss said, mocking Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

“Actually, why not add up all the numbers given by Konashenkov? I think we have already destroyed the entire planet Earth five times, ”he added.

Ukraine confirmed on Monday that it was carrying out “offensive actions” in various sectors of the combat front and claimed advances near the devastated city of Bakhmut (east), putting into perspective, however, the scale of the attacks that Moscow said it had repelled.

The information released by the two parties about the course of the war cannot be immediately verified by independent sources.

For months, Kiev has been preparing a large-scale counter-offensive to recover territories controlled by Russian forces and Russian-speaking separatist militias in the Donbass region. However, the Ukrainian authorities warned that they will not divulge the plans or the date of the operations.

On Monday, Wagner’s boss said he had detained a Russian officer whose unit allegedly attacked his men, in yet another indication of tensions between the armed paramilitary group and Russia’s regular army.

Elements of the Wagner group that were clearing mines “were attacked by fire from positions of the Ministry of Defense”, wrote Yevgeny Prigozhin in a report sent to the Ministry released by the paramilitary group.

On Saturday, Prigozhin accused Moscow forces of ceding territory in the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine and has been the target of heavy bombing and ground attacks in recent days.

He said he was still ready to send units from the Wagner group to defend “Russian territories that are in fact being conquered”.

By Friday, Prigozhin had assured that 99% of Wagner’s troops had abandoned Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine, handing over the territory to the regular army.

The Wagner group claimed to take the city of Bakhmut on May 20th.

The battle for Bakhmut was considered the longest and bloodiest of the war in Ukraine, starting with the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022.

The conflict plunged Europe into what is considered the most serious security crisis since the Second World War (1939-1945).

*With Lusa

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