According to a report, Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin’s friendship with President Vladimir Putin appears to have become strained after he resorted to posting provocative videos on social media in the midst of the Ukraine war.
Prigozhin heads the notorious paramilitary Wagner Group. For several months now, he has been deploying his fighters, along with conventional troops, to the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut as part of Moscow’s efforts to achieve its first major victory in the war since the summer of 2022. It was seen by the Kremlin as an important tool in this war.
But when he showed his political ambitions and launched attacks on Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, cracks began to appear in the relationship between the businessman and the Kremlin. These tensions escalated last week when Prigozhin threatened to pull out of Bakhmut due to a shortage of ammunition.
The report shows on May 5th, Prigozhin appealed directly to Putin for more ammunition after posting a video of himself standing and speaking in front of a group of his soldiers killed in action in Bakhmut.
In later reports, Evgeny Prigozhin said on Sunday that the company had been promised enough ammunition to continue fighting.
The statement came after Prigozhin stated that his fighters would need to withdraw from Bakhmut on May 10 if the Russian Defense Ministry did not address the ammunition shortage.
Prigozhin said in an audio message on his Telegram channel that the Wagner Group had received instructions from the military. He was promised as much ammunition and weapons as needed to continue his activities in the instructions.
Prigozhin added that they were told they could do whatever activities they deemed necessary in Bakhmut. Intense fighting over the Ukrainian mining town of Bakhmut has been ongoing for months.
Prigozhin claimed that his forces controlled almost all of the town while Ukrainian troops remained in a small area to the west.