Yevgeny Prigozhin mocks the Russian Defense Ministry’s claim that the army inflicted heavy casualties on Ukrainian forces.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the boss of the mercenary Wagner Group, has expressed contempt for Russia’s defense ministry after it claimed it had thwarted a “massive” offensive by Ukraine and inflicted heavy casualties.
Prigozhin, whose forces fought for months in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and who is a frequent critic of Russia’s military leadership, dismissed their latest claims as “wild fantasies” on his Telegram channel on Tuesday morning.
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Russia’s defense ministry said on Monday its forces repelled a major Ukrainian offensive in the southern part of the Donetsk region, destroying military equipment and killing some 1,500 Ukrainian troops.
There was no immediate comment from Kiev on Russia’s claims and it was not possible to verify the claims. Both countries have often claimed that they inflicted heavy human losses on each other that could not be independently verified.
“To destroy one and a half thousand people, it must be such a massacre, in one day, more than 150 kilometers (90 miles), a tremendous massacre,” Prigozhin said in response to the claims.
“That’s why I think these are just some wild fantasies.”
If you add up the Ministry’s figures, you would say that “we have already destroyed the entire planet five times,” he added sarcastically.
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Prigozhin has been embroiled in an increasingly public feud with Russia’s regular military, often unleashing foul-mouthed video diatribes fiercely criticizing Moscow’s military leadership.
Wagner forces led the months-long assault on now-devastated Bakhmut, claiming control of the city last month.