News summary of Russia’s war in Ukraine since January 13, 2023

Group leader Wagner implicitly criticizes Russian Defense Ministry for skirmishes at Soledar.

Yevgeny Prigozhin at a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in August 2016. (Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/FILE)

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, has issued a thinly veiled criticism of the Russian Defense Ministry over Soledar’s alleged capture.

His comments again highlighted the problems between Prigozhin and the Ministry of Defense.

In the news published on telegramThe head of the Russian mercenary force said that while the US is “a serious enemy, it is not a major enemy at the moment”, instead the Russian Defense Ministry.

Prigogine added, “Our infighting, corruption, bureaucracy and bureaucrats who want to stay in their positions can cause significant damage to the Wagner group. These are the most serious threats to Wagner.”

A Ukrainian official denied Russia had captured the city and said fighting was continuing. A Ukrainian soldier stationed in the eastern city of Bagmut told CNN that Ukrainian units were still on the Soledar border. But CNN’s Ben Wedeman, based outside Soledar, saw what appeared to be an organized withdrawal of troops by Ukrainian forces Friday afternoon.

Some background: CNN previously reported on disputes between Prigozhin, nicknamed “Putin’s chef,” and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

In a series of recent videos, Prigozhin said: “Once we defeat our internal bureaucracy and corruption, we will defeat the Ukrainians and NATO. The problem now is that the bureaucrats and the corrupt won’t listen to us. They’ve all been drinking champagne for years.”

See also  "I secretly recorded my rapist's confession"

In his Friday Telegram post, Prigogine said they “continue to steal success from Wagner, talking about the existence of an obscure person, to belittle his merits.” This seems to be another indication of the lack of recognition of the fighting that Wagner’s units are doing around Solidar.

On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that its troops had captured the city, but did not specify the role of Wagner units in the victory. In recent days, Prigozhin took pains to clarify that Wagner’s soldiers were fighting “exclusively” in the city.

What Ukraine says: A senior Ukrainian official on Friday called the infighting between Russia’s various branches of power “a sign of the beginning of a wonderful end.”

Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said on Twitter that the Russian Defense Ministry said there was a “general rumor” between Prokozhin and General Sergey Surovykin “about who is fighting better in 3 days of the 11th month of the war.” And who is going to sow the soledar with their corpses”.

“A good sign for the start of a fantastic finale!” He said.

Surovikhin was replaced Wednesday as head of Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine.

With information from Mick Graver.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *