Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin wants to recruit another 30,000 volunteers for his private group Wagner by May. In an advertising campaign in Russian sports clubs, 500 to 800 men signed contracts every day, Prigozhin said on Saturday in the Telegram channel of his press staff. “The recruits are sent to training camps.”
On Sunday, Prigozhin recalled that exactly one year ago, on March 19, Wagner fighters intervened in the fighting in Ukraine. The mercenaries are currently fighting mainly in the eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut, where they are advancing very slowly and suffering heavy casualties.
“Unity is needed” for a Russian victory
On the prospect of the Russian offensive war, he said: “For the time being, the prospects are vague.” The Russian armed forces must prepare for an offensive in Ukraine. Unity is necessary for victory. That’s why you have to leave “disputes, insults and everything else” behind, he demanded.
Prigozhin himself repeatedly criticizes the strategy of the regular forces, right up to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. He complains that the army is not giving its fighters enough ammunition.
Officially, private armies are prohibited in Russia. However, Prigozhin’s Wagner group has already carried out military assignments in Syria and several African countries where the deployment of regular Russian soldiers has been too delicate. In the war against the Ukraine, Wagner acts quite openly; Prigozhin was also allowed to temporarily recruit prisoners for his troops in penal camps.
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