Wagner boss Prigozhin's view of Russia's war in Ukraine is anything but positive. He warns of defeat and again deals out against the Kremlin.
Moscow/Frankfurt - Criticism and threats in the direction of the Kremlin from Yevgeny Prigozhin are not uncommon. The head of the mercenary force Wagner has repeatedly railed against the Russian government in the past, even threatening Moscow with drastic measures in the course of the fighting for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
In an interview published on Wednesday (24 May), the Wagner boss has once again reiterated his criticism of the conduct of the war against Ukraine. In a conversation with the pro-Kremlin political technologist Konstantin Dolgov, he warned of defeat. Is the Ukraine war backfiring for Russia? "We need to prepare for a very serious war," stressed Prigozhin, who is also known as "Putin's cook."
Yevgeny Prigozhin has already publicly clashed with the Russian military leadership on several occasions. © Uncredited/PRIGOZHIN PRESS SERVICE/AP/dpa
Ukraine-News: Prigozhin apparently fears Russia's defeat - and calls for new mobilizations
In order for Russia not to lose, it must declare a state of war and switch the economy to the production of ammunition, said the head of the Wagner Group. In the past, Prigozhin had repeatedly demanded more ammunition from Vladimir Putin's Kremlin. In addition, he now addressed the initiation of new mobilizations. All of them should work only for the war.
As several media outlets unanimously reported from the interview, Prigozhin took North Korea, ruled by dictator Kim Jong-un, as a model. According to him, Russia will have to live like this for several years. Borders have to be closed, young people have to be brought back from abroad and hard work has to be done. "Then we will come to a conclusion," he explained. Only recently, North Korea had emphasized its solidarity with Russia.
At the same time, Prigozhin recalled the numerous defeats that the Russian armed forces have suffered to date. For example, they had "made their pants" in front of Kiev and in Kherson and then took off. With this, the Wagner boss was referring to the lost battle for Kiev in the first months of the war. At that time, among other things, there was a kilometer-long Russian convoy in front of the capital. Russia later suffered a similar fate in Kherson. In the first days of the war, Putin's troops had captured the city. In November 2022, Ukraine recaptured Kherson. After nine months of Russian occupation, President Volodymyr Zelensky was finally able to declare the city liberated.
Wagner boss Prigozhin attacks Shoigu and Gerasimov
On the other hand, he again sent sharp criticism in the direction of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Prigozhin said that the entire Donbass could be conquered today if he had received the 200,000 requested soldiers as reinforcements. According to him, the main problem is Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia. It was only at the beginning of May that Prigozhin publicly attacked Shoigu in a video, standing in front of corpses.
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There are fears in the military leadership that the Wagner Group could turn against the Russian power apparatus and ultimately invade Moscow, he said in the interview. (MBR with dpa)