Putin’s Wagner chief revealed a huge pile of his mercenaries were killed in just one day as he accuses the defence chief of failing to provide his army with enough weapons – in a sign of a growing split within Russian forces.
The open warfare inside ‘very unwell’ Putin’s armed forces deepened today as Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Wagner private army, accused defence minister Sergei Shoigu of lying to the Russian people.
He posted a macabre picture showing the bodies of dozens of fighters, believed to be around Bakhmut and killed in the past 24 hours, claiming the losses are five times greater due to the incompetence of top Russian commanders.
A statement from the defence ministry on the supply of weapons and ammunition to pro-Putin fights amounted to spitting in their faces, he said.
He has already accused commanders of ‘treason’ for failing to provide Wagner with the munitions they need to storm Bakhmut.
Putin’s Wagner chief posted a macabre picture showing the bodies of dozens of fighters
Yevgeny Prigozhin (pictured), head of Wagner private army, accused defence minister Sergei Shoigu of lying to the Russian people
Today he went further, posting a picture of dozens of Wagner corpses.
‘This is one of the places for gathering the dead,’ he said. ‘These are guys who died yesterday because of the [lack of shells].
‘The number should have been five times smaller. Five times. So mothers, wives and children will receive their bodies.
‘Who is to blame for their death? Those who should have decided to supply us with sufficient quantities of ammunition.’
He directly blamed Shoigu and chief of staff General Valery Gerasimov for their deaths.
‘The final signature must be put either by Gerasimov or Shoigu. Neither of them wants to make a decision.’
Shoigu’s ministry accused Prigozhin of lying and aiding the enemy.
It comes as a prominent Russian Putin-watcher claimed the president ‘looked very unwell’ in his major speech on Tuesday, questioning his ‘cognitive abilities’.
The latest spat confirms open warfare within Putin’s regular army run by the defence ministry and Wagner, the main private force he is deploying in Ukraine.
Shoigu had provided ‘everything necessary to the volunteers and soldiers of the assault units’.
Shoigu’s ministry accused Prigozhin of lying and aiding the enemy (Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is pictured with Putin in 2020)
It comes as a prominent Russian Putin-watcher claimed the president ‘looked very unwell’ in his major speech on Tuesday
Prigozhin’s complaints over lack of weapons and ammunition was ‘completely untrue’.
Over two days this week they had provided ‘1,660 rockets for multiple launch rocket systems, 1,071 ammunition for large-calibre barrel artillery and mortars and 980 sets of ammunition for tanks’, said the ministry.
‘All requests for ammunition for assault units are fulfilled as quickly as possible.
‘In all, last year’s ammunition requirements of the assault units were met by 140 per cent of the requests received.’
Shoigu’s ministry hit out at Prigozhin – a close Putin ally who now appears to have fallen out of favour despite his key war role – saying ‘attempts to create a rift in the close co-operation and support mechanism between the units of the Russian grouping are counterproductive and only play to the enemy’s advantage’.
But Prigozhin stormed: ‘The Ministry of Defence is circulating information that it is allegedly giving ammunition to volunteer units in [Bakhmut].
‘I want to stress once again… Wagner is under-receiving 80 per cent of the ammunition required for combat missions
‘So the statement of the Ministry of Defence is nothing but a spit in the direction of Wagner.’
It was ‘an attempt to hide [the ministry’s] crimes in front of those fighters, who today perform heroic deeds in Bakhmut.
‘There is no ammunition. Sapper blades have not been supplied so far.
‘If you give ammunition, give it to them, do not tell them in the media, deceiving the Russian people.
‘Unlike the Ministry of Defence and its statements, I am ready to submit all documents [to prove this].
‘There is just direct opposition going on, which is nothing less than an attempt to destroy Wagner. This can be equated to high treason.’
Meanwhile, a prominent Putin expert Valery Solovey, a former professor at Moscow’s prestigious Institute of International Relations, said the Kremlin leader is struggling in his state of the nation address on Tuesday.
‘There was nothing new, in terms of substance,’ he said. ‘There were new things style wise. Putin looked very unwell.
‘Initially he was coughing, then under the influence of medications he stopped coughing.
‘He is normally given [medicine] 40 minutes prior, and [it] starts working some time later… Also he has to follow the script. As soon as he doesn’t follow, he repeats himself immediately.
‘It is clear that his cognitive abilities are not very great. He is saying the same mantras as a year ago, at the beginning of the special military operation.
‘No threats and nothing convincing in what he said. It looks quite unconvincing, weak, and disappointing for the Russian elite.’
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk