Wagner chief calls Russia’s military leadership “incompetent”

Yevgeny Prigozhin says his Wagner mercenary group has lost some 20,000 troops in the long battle for Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, after recruiting some 50,000 fighters. Wagner and Kremlin claim to have seize control of the ruined city, but Kyiv says its forces continue to fight there. Wagner is withdrawing its units from Bakhmut, said the mercenary group’s chief, and handing positions over to the Russian military.

Prigozhin again criticized Russia’s military leadership, calling Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov incompetent. “If ordinary Russians continued getting their children back in coffins while the children of the elite ‘shook their arses’ in the sun,” he warned in his latest video, “Russia would face turmoil along the lines of 1917 that brought the Bolsheviks to power.”

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