The head of the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group announced on Saturday that he had asked Moscow for permission to hand over his group’s sites in Bakhmut, the center of the fighting in eastern Ukraine, to the forces of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, in protest of the lack of ammunition.
The head of the Russian private military group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is currently taking concrete measures to withdraw his fighters from the front in eastern Ukraine, according to a statement issued on Telegram.
Prigozhin’s press service says he wants to accept an offer from Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.
Chechnya’s President Kadyrov said earlier that men from Ahmed’s Chechen special forces could take over the positions of the Wagner Group’s mercenaries in the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut, where the conflict is raging, and carry out military tasks instead of Wagner’s forces in that region.
And more than a year after the Kremlin’s all-out conquest of Ukraine, power struggles are emerging within the Russian military leadership.
Prigozhin recently complained publicly about the lack of ammunition and announced on Friday that he would withdraw his fighters for this reason.
Prigozhin has since published a letter to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu asking him to order the sites handed over to President Kadyrov’s men.
The letter added that this process is supposed to be completed by midnight Wednesday (2300 GMT on Tuesday).
The Russian army, which is fighting in Bakhmut alongside the forces of the Wagner Group in costly battles, hasn’t commented on Prigozhin’s threats and accusations.