Editor’s Note: Warning: This story contains graphic imagery.
It has to count as one of the strangest PR campaigns in memory: using a pile of corpses to make your case to the powers that be.
That’s what Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, appears to have done this week in an unusual public appeal for ammunition for his fighters in Ukraine. And in the process, he has cast a harsh light on his open feud with Russia’s military leadership on the eve of the anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Prigozhin posted a picture on Telegram showing the bodies of several dozen slain Wagner fighters, piled unceremoniously in a courtyard. Alongside that shocking photo, he posted the image of a formal request from Wagner for more ammunition, pointing the finger of blame squarely at the Russian Ministry of Defense for squandering one of those lives.
“This is one of the gathering places of the dead,” Prigozhin said. “These are the guys who died yesterday due to the so-called ‘shell starvation’ [by the Russian MOD]. There should have been five times fewer of them. So mothers, wives and children will get their bodies.”
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