Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said he will withdraw his mercenaries from the embattled town of Bakhmut, Ukraine, saying his fighters are “doomed to senseless death” because Russia’s Defense Ministry is depriving them of ammunition.
“By not giving us shells, you are not depriving us of victory, you are depriving the people of Russia of victory,” Prigozhin said in a video released on his Telegram account. “We will lick our wounds, and when the Motherland is in danger, we will rise again to defend it. The Russian people can count on us.”
Prigozhin said Wagner Group would leave Bakhmut May 10, one day after Victory Day — an important holiday in Russia celebrating Moscow’s triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Bakhmut, a city in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, has become a major battleground in the war effort as Russia has pounded away at the city for months, making only incremental gains while expending troops and ammunition at a great cost.
The assault has been led by the Wagner Group, which began encircling Ukrainian defenders in the late winter fueled by a new Russian offensive but has since struggled to make any gains.
Now, Ukraine is looking to exploit the failed Russian offensive and is eyeing a counterattack, which could be coming any day now.
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