Russia's Wagner mercenary chief says group could soon 'cease to exist'

Wagner mercenary chief says group could ‘cease to exist’ as he accuses Russian military of hampering his supply of ammunition and manpower

  • The leader of the Wagner Group of mercenaries warned it could soon disband
  •  Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, insists it will ‘cease to exist’

The leader of Russia’s feared Wagner Group of mercenaries has said the firm could soon dissolve as he attacked the Russian military’s record on ammunition supplies.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, regularly publicises his group’s successes on the battlefield, despite his claims of a media blackout.

He has laid a charge at the Russian defence ministry’s door, accusing it of stifling his access to ammunition and extra troops, The Telegraph reports 

Commentators have suggested this is the work of Russia’s defence minister Serge Shoig in an attempt to counter Progozhin’s influence.

In an interview with Russian war blogger Semyon Pegov, he said: ‘Now, with regard to the need in general for shells at the front, what we want. Today we are coming to the point where Wagner is ending.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, regularly publicises his group’s successes on the battlefield, despite his claims of a media blackout (Pictured: Wagner boss Yevheny Prizgozhin, left, with Russian president Vladimir Putin)

Prigozhin told a broadcaster that his mercenary group is ‘ending’ and in a short period of time ‘will cease to exist’ 

‘Wagner, in a short period of time, will cease to exist. We will become history, nothing to worry about, things like this happen.’

 Mr Prigozhin made the comments after joking about Bakhmut, where the Wagner Goup has been leading an assault.

The mercenary leader is known for his confrontational manner and dry humour, leading some to question the authenticity of his statements. 

The Ukraine war has seen the Wagner Group shift from a secretive Moscow unit allegedly hired to carry out Putin’s dubious activities in Syria and Africa – where Russia has military and mining interests – to a mainstream militia widely talked about in the media.

Mr Kremlin has denied belittling or downplaying Wagner’s conquests, despite complaints from Mr Prigozhin.

UK members of Parliament have called for the group to be categorised as a terrorist organisation after learning its had played a part in the Sudan conflict. 

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sudan accused Wagner of training troops in Sudan, handing weapons to both warring sides and field false rumours during recent pro-democracy protests.

Wagner reportedly has a ‘bot farm’ in St Petersburg, dedicated to IT research and new drone tech.

Recently, mercenaries for Russia’s infamous Wagner Group have been aided by ‘secret drones’ supplied by Chinese intelligence services (Pictured: a thermal power plant heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike)

Yevgeny Prigozhin set up the armed militia during the Syrian conflict in 2014 when his men were deployed to look after Russian interests in the country. 

Now, the Kremlin has ordered Prigozhin to send troops to support the Russia’s stalled offensive in Ukraine, where the mercenaries have been accused of murdering civilians. 

Reports suggest Prigozhin has been recruiting men from Russian prisons, offering them pardons if they complete their military service. 

According to The Telegraph, ChVK Wagner Centre has been registered as a company in Russia which is primarily focused on ‘management consultancy’. 

It is illegal under Russian law to operate a mercenary company. 

In January, Wagner was recruiting in Serbia, running adverts on local media seeking volunteers to join the fight against Ukraine. 

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