Daily Express

Rotting fish! Wagner chief’s rant as troops flee

- By Mark Reynolds

RUSSIAN soldiers beat a humiliatin­g military retreat in the highly contested city of Bakhmut.

The video, filmed as Russia celebrated its annual Victory Day, led to furious Wagner group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin branding Russia’s military leaders as fish “rotting from the head”.

Wagner is a private army mainly composed of mercenarie­s, volunteers and convicts freed from jail who form the majority of forces in Bakhmut.

Prigozhin was slating the Kremlin’s regular forces who fled. He also accused Russian commanders appointed by Putin of letting their soldiers die in vain.

He said: “One of the Ministry of Defence’s detachment­s ran away from one of the flanks.

“They abandoned their positions.All ran away.

“This is not the problem of soldiers but of those who manage them and set their tasks.”

Prigozhin, a billionair­e nicknamed Putin’s “chef”, set up Wagner in support of the dictator. But he has repeatedly warned of failures in Russia’s high command, suggesting they could lead to losing the war to Ukraine. “A fish rots from its head, and if decision making is done through the **** , soldiers leave because there is no point to die in vain,” he said.

He also threatened to pull his forces out of the region unless the Russian defence ministry sent more ammunition.

The video, released by Ukraine yesterday, shows the Russian 72nd Separate Motorised Rifle Brigade fleeing on Tuesday as Putin was in Moscow’s Red Square telling the Victory Day parade troops: “The country’s security depends on you today as does the future of our statehood and our people.”

Ukraine said it eliminated 64 Russian “occupant” fighters, and wounded 87 more, while capturing many PoWs on the southweste­rn outskirts of Bakhmut. Colonel Andriy Biletsky, of the Ukrainian national guards, said: “The entire area was completely liberated from the Russian occupying forces.”

It also emerged yesterday that the UK and the EU are set to designate the Wagner Group as a proscribed terrorist organisati­on.

 ?? ?? Retreating...the Russian soldiers leave Bakhmut
Retreating...the Russian soldiers leave Bakhmut
 ?? ?? Furious... Prigozhin
Furious... Prigozhin

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom