Wagner Group boss misses deadline after making promise to capture Bakhmut

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Yevgeny Prigozhin, the self-confessed leader of the military contractor Wagner Group that’s waging war in Ukraine on behalf of Putin, has “missed the deadline” to capture Bakhmut, despite making a “personal promise” to the despotic leader.

Concerns about Russia’s ability to maintain its fight against Ukraine in the bloody war have raged on after reports from the frontline emerged that Moscow’s military were struggling to secure weapons, and recruits.

The calls for greater support from Moscow were led by Prigozhin, who claimed on Wednesday that a brigade of soldiers had abandoned its position on the frontline of the Bakhmut standoff, giving Ukrainian forces the ability to grab more territory.

According to the Wagner Group chief, the brigade “just ran the hell out of there” and that only those representing his group remained on the ground to defend the outpost.

He added: “There is a serious risk of encirclement of PMC Wagner in Bakhmut as a result of the failure of the flanks. The flanks are already cracking and falling through.”

It’s the latest in a string of stinging rebukes from the man often dubbed “Putin’s chief” – Prigozhin has repeatedly ripped apart Moscow leadership for the country’s failures in Ukraine.

According to an insider, though, the reason for Prigozhin’s decision to shift the blame this time around was that he was not close to reaching the targets he has told Putin he would meet.

In a report for Meduza, an independent Russian publication based in Latvia, one source said Prigozhin’s recent behaviour comes after the “personal promise” he made to secure Bakhmut by a certain deadline loomed.

While the source was unsure when that date was, they added that the outburst could be because he was “missing the deadline”, leaving him nervous about the consequences.

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Prigozhin’s damnation of Russia’s current plight was summed up in an astonishing outburst earlier this month, as he laid bare Moscow’s struggles.

He described the frontline as being made of “people who fight” and “people who learn at some point in their lives that they should reserve” and save.

The leader continued: “And instead of spending a shell, killing the enemy, saving the life of our soldier, they kill our soldiers.

“Meanwhile, the happy grandpa thinks he’s doing well. And what’s the country supposed to do next? If he turns out to be right, God bless everyone. But what should the country do, what should our children, our grandchildren, the future of Russia do, and how will we win this war, if suddenly — and I’m just speculating here — it turns out that this grandpa is a complete d******d?”

The man referred to as “happy grandpa” has split insiders, with some believing Putin is the character behind the name.

Another source added that the rant was in fact because Prizgozhin “has his own project” and ambitions, and he’s “currently doing everything for its sake”.

They added: “But that’s a personal project, aimed at giving him more influence over the Defense Ministry so that Wagner becomes the main force behind the victory.”

The Wagner Group in recent days has faced mounting criticism after France labeled it a terrorist group, with Britain debating whether to follow a similar pattern.

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