Since January 9, what is considered the bloodiest battle of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been raging in the city of Soledar. Over the course of the week, the violence doubled in intensity. In a video released Saturday evening by its press service, Yevgeny Prigojine, the leader of the Wagner group, spoke about the reasons why his fighters managed to capture the city of Soledar in eastern Ukraine. An announcement denied by Kyiv which assures that fighting continues in Soledar.
The leader of the group claims that his men are very experienced and “Achieve all your goals independently” because they have their own planes, artillery pieces and armored vehicles. The Wagner Group, founded in 2014, has recruited thousands of inmates to fight in Ukraine in exchange for reduced sentences.
In a sign of a rise to power, Yevgeny Prigojine, 61, admitted in September that he had founded Wagner after years of denial. Now he regularly travels to the Ukrainian front and actively expresses himself through his press service.
A criticism of the Russian military high command?
Dressed in camouflage alongside a man he poses as Wagner’s commander at the Battle of Soledar, Yevgeny Prigojine does not hesitate to praise the qualities of his troops. “The most important thing is the command system, which has been perfectly perfected. The Wagner Group listens to everyone, everyone can have their say »he assured in his video. “After a decision is made, all missions are done, no one can go back. It is the fiercest discipline that gives us this possibility.it continued.
These comments appear as a new veiled criticism of the Russian military high command, accused, even by some supporters of Vladimir Putin, of lacking coordination and being distant from the realities on the ground. Yevgeny Prigozhin has repeatedly criticized Russian troop commanders in recent months, most notably during Ukrainian military successes this fall in the Kharkhiv and Kherson regions.
Also read – The irresistible rise of Yevgeny Prigojine, a businessman close to Putin to head the Wagner militia
On Friday, the Russian military announced the capture of Soledar without initially mentioning Wagner’s fighters. Evguéni Prigojine, through his press service, then denounced “ constant attempts to steal victories” of your group To rectify the situation, the Russian Ministry of Defense issued a press release welcoming it “courage” of Wagner’s men in Soledar.
Source : Le JDD