The Russian private military company the Wagner group, which has been taking active part in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, is going through a rough patch.
Rumors about the likely withdrawal of the Wagner PMC from Ukraine were confirmed by the Wagner’s head, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Prigozhin made it clear that his mercenaries could not capture the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut. He accused the Russian Defense Ministry of impeding the operations of his PMC in Ukraine.
"Advance is not going as fast as we would like. I think they [Wagner mercenaries] would have already taken Bakhmut before the New Year, if not for our monstrous military bureaucracy and not the roadblocks that are set every day. Today we have a certain number of structural changes. The admission of prisoners to our ranks has been stopped," Prigozhin said.
According to Prigozhin, number of fighters in his PMC is going down due to losses and contract terminations.
"Of course, at some point the number of personnel will decrease. Accordingly, we will not be able to perform the tasks which we would like," said Prigozhin.
He also complained that the regular troops have no success in other parts of the front.
"If today there were 3-5 PMCs like Wagner in different directions, I think we would already rinse our socks in the Dnipro river," Prigozhin assured.
According to Russian human rights activists, Wagner recruited about 50,000 prisoners for the war in Ukraine. 85-90% of them have been killed in battles for Bakhmut. The group managed to achieve very modest successes in this area while losing almost all its personnel.
Since February 1, the recruitment of inmates to the Wagner PMC has been stopped. The Russian Defense Ministry is going to take over the recruitment of the prisoners.