Russia Relieves Wagner Forces in Bakhmut After Prigozhin Video

    Russia Relieves Wagner Forces in Bakhmut After Prigozhin Video
    Last updated May 05, 2023
    Image credit: [via Business Insider]


    • Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner PMC, launched an expletive-filled video tirade at Russia's top two defense officials late on Thursday. Standing in a field of Wagner corpses he said were killed that day, he lambasted Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, tasked by Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin to run the war.[1]
    • Prigozhin, whose forces for months have been leading Russia's charge in the Donetsk city of Bakhmut, blamed Shoigu and Gerasimov for the death of the men, claiming his units had ammunition shortages of 70%.[1]
    • He said: "You animals are hanging out in expensive clubs. Your children are enjoying their lives, making videos for YouTube." Referring to the dead men, he added: "Do you think that you are the masters of this life and that you have the right to control their lives? They came here as volunteers and are dying for you to be rolling in clover in your mahogany offices. Keep that in mind!"[1]
    • Earlier in the day, he also criticized Russian officials who alluded to the use of nuclear weapons in response to the apparent drone attack on the Kremlin. Among them, Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the Russian State Duma, wrote on Telegram that "we will demand the use of weapons capable of stopping and destroying" Ukraine. Former Russian Pres. Dmitry Medvedev called for "the physical elimination of Zelenskyy and his cabal." Such responses make Moscow "look like clowns," Prigozhin said.[2]
    • By Friday morning, Prigozhin, standing in front of Wagner forces, made a new announcement — that on May 10, he and his men would be "obliged to transfer positions in the settlement of Bakhmut to units of the [Russian] defence [sic] ministry and withdraw the remains of Wagner to logistics camps to lick our wounds."[3]
    • Meanwhile, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday held a press conference on the Kremlin attack while in India. He said: "It was obviously a hostile act...We will respond not with speculations about whether or not this is a 'casus belli' [Latin for "cause for war"]...We will respond with concrete actions."[4]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    Russia's allegation that the US had anything to do with this attack is ludicrous. The US is still investigating the circumstances and has not come to any conclusion.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    If the Kremlin attack was genuine, it was incredibly stupid. If it was a Russian false flag, they're just as capable as anyone else of pulling off this centuries-old political maneuver. The truth is we still don't know and it's too early to say one way or another.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    It is clear to Russia that this attack could not have happened without the knowledge of the US. Russia will respond with concrete actions to this act of terrorism.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 12% chance that in 2023 there will be another war with more casualties than the Russia-Ukraine War, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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