Wagner Leader Says Group Will Withdraw From Bakhmut

The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has said he will withdraw his forces from Bakhmut on May 10, citing high losses, and blaming military “bureaucrats” for a lack of ammunition.

In a three-page statement, Prigozhin said the withdrawal was due to casualties suffered by the group due to a lack of ammunition he blamed on “envious near-military bureaucrats.”

“By May 9, 2023, we were supposed to take Bakhmut, but knowing this, from May 1, near-military bureaucrats practically cut us off from any artillery ammunition,” Prigozhin wrote, according to a machine translation.

“Offensive resources of PMC Wagner ended at the beginning of April, but we are advancing, despite the fact that the enemy forces outnumber us by five times,” the statement said, adding that: “Due to the lack of ammunition, our losses are growing exponentially every day.”

On Thursday, Prigozhin posted a graphic video showing what he said were tens of recently killed Wagner soldiers.

Using graphic language as seen in a translation verified by Storyful, the Wagner leader directly addressed Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Army Chief of Staff Vitaly Gerasimov, demanding more ammunition to stop the losses.

Neither the Russian government nor the Russian Armed Forces have responded to Prigozhin’s statement. Credit: Yevgeny Prigozhin via Storyful