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Rift grows between Wagner Group and Russia's Defence Ministry as Wagner Group owner accuses ministry of lying

Tuesday, 21 February 2023, 22:51
Rift grows between Wagner Group and Russia's Defence Ministry as Wagner Group owner accuses ministry of lying

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group, has said that the Russian Ministry of Defence is lying when it claims that Russian forces on the Bakhmut front have sufficient ammunition. Prigozhin has complained that the Wagner fighters receive less than 20% of ammunition they had been promised.

Source: Prigozhin’s press service; the Russian Ministry of Defence

Details: The Russian Ministry of Defence responded to Prigozhin’s accusation that it creates obstacles to Wagner Group’s ammunition supply, thus "starving" its soldiers of ammunition.


The Ministry of Defence said that Prigozhin was trying to create a rift between different Russian units, which plays to the Ukrainian forces’ advantage.

Quote from the Russian Ministry of Defence: "None of the statements made, allegedly, on behalf of assault units about the lack of ammunition correspond to reality.

Between 18 and 20 February alone, ‘volunteers’ from assault units were given:

  • 1,660 rockets for multiple-launch rocket systems
  • 10,171 shells for large-calibre artillery and mortar bombs
  • 980 projectiles for tank guns."

Details: Prigozhin responded saying that Wagner fighters have not received 80% of the promised ammunition. He added that there were no "volunteers", only Wagner Group fighters, on the Bakhmut front.

Prigozhin claimed that the Russian Defence Ministry has failed to supply Wagner fighters even with sapper shovels.

Quote from Prigozhin: "The Defence Ministry’s claims are an insult to the Wagner Group and an attempt to cover up their crimes before those fighters who are performing a ‘heroic feat’ in Bakhmut […]

The Wagner PMC [private military company  ed.] does not receive 80% of the ammunition it needs to carry out combat missions […]

If you want to give us ammunition, give it to us. Don’t just go telling lies about it to the Russian people in the media.

In contrast to the Russian Defence Ministry and its claims, I’m prepared to submit all relevant documents, including the requests [for ammunition] submitted and the [reports concerning] the amount received, to a military prosecutor’s office or counterintelligence – up to you."

Previously: On 20 February, Prigozhin accused the Russian military command that the Wagner Group was not given ammunition despite sufficient amounts of it in store.


  • On 9 February, Prigozhin announced that the recruitment of convicts to the Wagner Group had been halted, without, however, explaining what caused this decision.
  • Later on, he named three main reasons why he had stopped recruiting convicts in Russian prisons. One of the reasons was the opposition of the Russian military leadership.
  • On 18 February, the Institute for the Study of War reported that Chechen Republic leader Ramzan Kadyrov had rejected overtures from Prigozhin to join a renewed informational campaign against the Russian Ministry of Defence.

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