March 4. 2024. 6:27

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Wagner chief tells Russia’s Shoigu of coming Ukrainian attack


Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russian mercenary chief, told Sergei Shoigu in a Monday (20 March) letter that the Ukrainian army was planning an offensive to cut off Wagner forces from the main Russian contingent in eastern Ukraine.

The letter was published by his press agency. Prigozhin stated that the "large-scale attack" was being planned for late March or early April.

He said that he asked for all the necessary measures to ensure the Wagner private military company is not cut off from the main Russian army forces, which would have negative consequences for the special-military operation.

This was the first time Prigozhin published correspondence with the defense minister, whom he has often criticised for his conduct during the war.

This unusual move had two possible goals: to misunderstand Ukraine commanders and to blame Shoigu, not Prigozhin if the purported Ukrainian maneuver was successful.

Prigozhin stated that he had provided details about the Ukrainian plan as well as his own counter-proposal in an attachment to the correspondence. He did not make this public. He didn’t say how he knew about Ukraine’s intentions.

He stated that Wagner forces control 70% of Bakhmut in Ukraine, which they had been trying to capture since last year in the bloodiest and longest battle of war.

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His assertion that Ukraine could launch an attack on a Russian capital was not supported by any evidence.

Russia has repeatedly accused Ukraine of conducting isolated cross-border attacks using drones and other means. These incidents have not been claimed by Ukraine, but they are "karma" for Russia’s invasion.

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