Prigozhin afraid of Ukrainian counterattacks in Bakhmut - ISW

Prigozhin afraid of Ukrainian counterattacks in Bakhmut - ISW

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin fears that the Russian positions in Bakhmut's rear are vulnerable to counterattacks by the Ukrainian army.

The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said this in its new report, according to Ukrinform.

Prigozhin threatened to withdraw Wagner forces from Bakhmut if the Russian military command fails to provide more ammunition to the Wagner mercenaries. On April 29, he said that the Wagner mercenaries will continue to fight in Bakhmut but will need to "withdraw in an organized manner or stay and die" if the situation does immediately not improve. He added that the terrorist group is only receiving 800 of the 4,000 shells per day that it is currently requesting.

"Prigozhin is likely attempting to regain access to more ammunition as Putin is once again reshuffling the Russian military leadership in a way that may favor Prigozhin," experts said.

Prigozhin also continued his efforts to convince the Kremlin to go over to the defensive in eastern Ukraine. He claimed that the Ukrainian counteroffensive could take place before May 15 but that the Russian military is not rushing to prepare to repel attacks

Prigozhin's threat to withdraw from Bakhmut may also indicate that he fears that the Russian positions in Bakhmut's rear are vulnerable to counterattacks.

Prigozhin claimed that Wagner and Deputy Commander of Russian Forces in Ukraine Army General Sergei Surovikin developed a plan to "grind" the Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut.

"Prigozhin's mention of Surovikin is likely an attempt to publicly affiliate with Surovikin as Russian President Vladimir Putin's favor is shifting away from Chief of the Russian General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov's network," the report said.

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