Renowned Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin recently expressed his discontent with the Russian armed forces, referring to them as “clowns.”
During his 62nd birthday celebration at a training camp, Prigozhin emphasized that his Wagner group would continue fighting in Ukraine only if they were granted a separate front, free from the influence of what he perceives as inept military leadership.
Confirming the imminent departure of his men from the war-ravaged city of Bakhmut on June 5, Prigozhin showcased his signature straightforwardness and penchant for colorful language when discussing the conduct of the war.
“If the entire chain of command is riddled with incompetence and only consists of individuals who turn soldiers into mere cannon fodder, then we will not partake in such endeavors,” he boldly asserted.
With an enigmatic smile, Prigozhin beckoned Russian reporters to behold the captivating scene before them—a night sky illuminated by explosive bursts and crimson flares, accompanied by the symphony of automatic gunfire originating from his loyal mercenaries.
In a surprising departure from the dramatic ambiance, Prigozhin delved into a detailed account of the prosthetic legs provided to his injured soldiers, highlighting the resilience of those who continued to fight despite their physical limitations.
Expressing the desire for his men to recuperate at camps situated in Russian-controlled territory within Ukraine for approximately one month, Prigozhin hinted at the anticipation of future developments.
“It has undeniably been a grueling year. Then, and only then, shall we assess the situation and determine our course of action,” he concluded.
Throughout the 15-month conflict in Ukraine, Prigozhin, known for his background in the restaurant industry, has gained notoriety for his acerbic remarks, consistently targeting prominent figures within Russia’s military hierarchy.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, in particular, have been frequent recipients of his scorn. However, both Shoigu and Gerasimov have chosen not to engage in a public exchange with the provocative mercenary leader.
Prigozhin, who recently humorously proposed that he should be dubbed “Putin’s butcher” instead of “Putin’s chef,” disclosed that he had requested prosecutors to investigate potential “crimes” committed by senior Russian defense officials before or during the Ukrainian conflict.