Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin is back to humiliating the Kremlin and threatening to sabotage Vladimir Putin’s war effort.
“Russia is on the brink of catastrophe,” he said in an interview with a pro-war military blogger on Saturday, openly calling B.S. on the Kremlin’s repeated claims that all is going according to plan in Ukraine.
“We need to stop deceiving the population and telling them that everything is fine,” he said, accusing Russia’s top military brass of deluding themselves about the war or “not giving a damn.”
Prigozhin blamed his foe, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, for a lack of ammunition that he said could cost Russia the war.
In the nearly hour-and-a-half long video interview—apparently filmed days earlier—he read out a letter he said he’d sent to Shoigu on Friday, in which he issued a brazen ultimatum threatening to pull his mercenaries out from Bakhmut if the defense ministry does not immediately provide the required ammunition.
Apparently for added effect, he also threatened to tattle on Shoigu to Putin personally.
“The bell is already ringing, we’re sounding the alarm,” he said.
The group, he said, has enough rounds of ammunition left only “for days, not weeks.”
When asked if perhaps the military didn’t want to provide weapons to Wagner out of a fear that the mercenary group “might storm the Kremlin” and seize power, Prigozhin conceded that the idea is “interesting” but said he wasn’t focused on staging a coup.
But he made his scorn for military leaders abundantly clear, admitting that the Russian army’s military gains in Ukraine have been laughable.
“What have we even done [since Feb. 24]? We’ve turned the Russian army – the second army in the world – into what? Who the hell knows. … What kind of army are we if we couldn’t even manage with itty bitty Ukraine?”
“It’s a complete mess everywhere, there’s no discipline. The army has everything, but there is absolutely no control, while there is an absolute paranoid gap between that which is happening in the trenches, and that which they know and think about in headquarters.”
He went on to warn that Ukraine’s counteroffensive is right around the corner, but said that among Russia’s military brass, “nobody gives a damn.”
Wagner, he said, is recovering “thousands and thousands” of bodies of its dead fighters “every day.”
According to him, it won’t be long before he will hold “those accountable who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Russian guys.”
Prigozhin’s latest outburst follows a string of earlier public criticisms of Shoigu and defense ministry officials. The Wagner boss’s repeated—and very public—rants against top military brass have sparked some speculation that he’s angling for political office, a cushy job in the government, or simply preemptively laying blame for future embarrassing war losses.