Prigozhin: The Ukrainian start their counterattack
The head of Russia’s private military group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on Wednesday he believes a promised counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces has already begun, adding that his forces are watching increased activity along the front.
In an audio message released by his press service on social media, Prigozhin said the active phase of the counterattack would begin in the coming days.
The Kiev government has long promised to launch a counter-offensive to begin retaking the territories Russia annexed in the east of the country after its February 2022 invasion.
“I think the advance of the Ukrainian army has already begun,” Prigozhin said.
“So I think everything has already started… I believe that all of this will enter an active phase in the very near future… It could be in a matter of days”.
Prigozhin later said his forces had advanced 230 meters in the fighting that engulfed the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut.
The ruined town, which had a population of 70,000, has been under siege for nearly ten months.
The head of Wagner added that the Ukrainian forces are now confined to an area of the town of only 2.64 square kilometers.
Prigozhin complained again that Moscow was ignoring his pleas to increase the supply of missiles.
“The Ministry of Defense did not provide us with artillery ammunition and we only have resources for a few days… They ignore all requests from Wagner”.
In addition, the offensive group of the Russian armed forces arrested, on Thursday morning, two Ukrainian soldiers on the Donetsk axis, and announced that they had forcibly recruited into the Ukrainian army.
One of the captives said, in a recorded video, that he is from the city of “Krasny Loch” in the Lugansk People’s Republic, adding: “I left from there with my children and my wife… I was touring until this time”.
The Ukrainian military added that he deliberately evaded conscription into the Ukrainian army, because he did not want to fight, but despite that he was sent to the combat zone.
As for the second prisoner, he is from Kharkov province, and he was wounded several times in the arm.
The Russian military called a group to evacuate the two captives and provide them with medical assistance.
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, and Russian President Vladimir Putin specified that its aim is to protect people who have been subjected to persecution and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years, and to disarm and eliminate the Nazi orientation in Ukraine and bring all war criminals responsible for “bloody crimes against civilians” in Donbas to justice.