Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of private military group Wagner, has vowed to retaliate after accusing Russia’s military leadership of killing a “huge amount” of his forces in strikes – a claim that defense officials quickly denied.
In Telegram post on Friday, Prigozhin – who has frequently criticized Russia’s traditional military hierarchy – accused them of “trying to deprive us of the opportunity to defend our homes and instead hunt down Wagner PMC.”
He said his forces were “ready to compromise with the Ministry of Defense to hand over our weapons and find a solution how we will continue to defend our country. But these scumbags did not calm down,” adding that “they saw that we weren’t broken and they launched strikes on our camps.’
“A huge amount of our fighters were killed, our comrades in arms. We will make a decision about how to respond to these atrocities. The next step is ours,” he added.
He also warned of retribution. “So those who wiped out our guys today, they wiped out dozens. Many dozens, tens of thousands of lives, of Russian soldiers will be punished,” Prigozhin continued.