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Wagner group leader warns Russian fighters could revolt if invasion continues to escalate

Wagner group leader warns Russian fighters could revolt if invasion continues to escalate

(News) — A new “revolution” could rock Russia if it continues its faltering war effort in Ukraine, the head of the private military group Wagner has said, in a scathing assessment of Moscow’s military readiness that could further expose divisions among the president’s military hierarchy. of Russia Vladimir Putin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin said in an interview with Konstantin Dolgov, a pro-Russian blogger, that Moscow’s troops are not prepared to resist forces loyal to Kyiv even when they make inroads into Russian territory.

He also praised the capabilities of the Ukrainian army and urged Moscow to step up its war effort if it wants to avoid a long and costly conflict.

“I think that today the Ukrainian Army is one of the strongest armies in the world,” Prigozhin said. He also said that the Kyiv forces were “highly organized, highly trained and their intelligence is at the highest level; they can operate any military system with equal success, a Soviet one or a NATO one.”

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In recent days, Moscow was embarrassed when a group of anti-Putin Russians entered the Belgorod region in a raid that sparked anger and confusion among Russia’s influential military analysts. When asked about the incident, Prigozhin said that the Russian defense forces “are not at all ready to resist them in any way.”

“Here we are with the Ukraine, that is our enemy in the middle of the war, the Russian Volunteer Corps groups effortlessly go in and go through (the border) with tanks and APCs without any repercussions and they make their own videos if so,” he said. Wagner’s boss vented.

Prigozhin has repeatedly criticized Russia’s traditional military hierarchy as he sought to win a proxy fight against military commanders to lead Putin’s ground effort in eastern Ukraine. Earlier this month, he blamed Russian defense chiefs for Wagner’s “tens of thousands” of casualties from not having enough ammunition.

Prigozhin (center) claimed that his Wagner forces captured Bakhmut after months of fighting that caused heavy Russian losses.

But his comments in the interview with Dolgov were alarmist even to Putin’s happy-go-lucky ally. As he has often done, Prigozhin urged Moscow to escalate its war to defeat Ukraine, urging Putin to “declare martial law and a new wave of mobilization.”

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He warned that if Russian losses continue to mount, “all these divisions may end in revolution, as they did in 1917.”

“First the soldiers will rise, and after that, their loved ones will rise. It is a mistake to think that there are hundreds of them; there are already tens of thousands of relatives of those killed, ”he said. “And there will probably be hundreds of thousands, we can’t help that.”

Russian forces, made up mainly of Wagner’s troops, have worked for months on the capture of Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine of relatively insignificant strategic value, where Russia has suffered heavy losses, and its largest ground campaign has been stalled. after a string of successful Ukrainian counterattacks last fall.

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