In yet another spectacular rant, Wagner Chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has reignited his ongoing feud with the Kremlin, saying Putin’s efforts to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine have completely backfired and achieved exactly the opposite. 

In an interview with pro-Kremlin political strategist, Konstantin Dolgov, Prigozhin complained that Ukraine was now “a nation which everybody knows around the entire world” that resembled “Greeks during the era of Greece’s prosperity.”

“Ukraine has been legitimized,” he said. “Ukraine has become a country which is known absolutely everywhere.”

Speaking specifically about Putin’s stated intention at the outset of Russia’s full-scale invasion, to “demilitarize” Ukraine, Prigozhin became even more scathing, saying: “If at the start of the special operation they had 500 tanks, hypothetically speaking, now they have 5,000 tanks. If 20,000 men were able to fight, now it’s 400,000.

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“How have we demilitarized it? It turns out we’ve done the opposite.

“F**k knows how, but we’ve militarized Ukraine.”

Prigozhin’s wide-ranging interview covered a number of other topics with numerous parts worth highlighting:

His pessimistic view of the future of the war:

“The Ukrainians are given rockets, they are preparing troops, of course they will continue the offensive, try to counterattack. Perhaps the counteroffensive will be successful somewhere, they will restore the borders of 2014 and this can easily happen. They will attack the Crimea, they will try to blow up the Crimean bridge, cut off the supply lines. Therefore, we need to prepare for a hard war.”

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His view of the Ukrainian army:

“Today PMC Wagner is the best army in the world. Of course, I must say out of correctness that the next one is the Russian army, but I think that the Ukrainians today are one of the strongest armies. They have a high level of organization, a high level of training, a high level of intelligence, they have various weapons. They work on any systems - Soviet, NATO - equally successfully. With them, everything goes for the sake of achieving the supreme goal, as we did in the Great Patriotic War.”

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 The future of Russia: 

“Russia needs to live in the image of North Korea for a certain number of years, close all borders, stop being silly, take all its youths from abroad and work hard. Then we will come to some result.”

Prigozhin also said that around 10,000 prisoners he recruited to fight in Ukraine have been killed on the battlefield.

Last year, Prigozhin toured Russian prisons in a bid to convince inmates to fight with Wagner in Ukraine, in exchange for a promised amnesty upon their return should they survive.

Convicts are believed to have been used as cannon fodder in Ukraine, accounting for most of Wagner's losses in the pro-Western country.

"I took 50,000 prisoners of which around 20 percent were killed," Prigozhin said, adding a similar percentage were killed among those who had signed a contract with Wagner, but did not give a precise figure.

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Prigozhin’s latest interview comes after he claimed the capture of Bakhmut after months of brutal fighting, insisting there were no Ukrainian troops left there at all.

“There is not a single Ukrainian soldier in Bakhmut as we have stopped taking prisoners,” he said in a post on Telegram earlier this week. “There are a huge number of corpses of Ukrainian soldiers.”

Kyiv has contested the claims and insists the fight for the ruined city is not over.

 

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