The chief of the Wagner mercenary group has said they have begun transferring their positions in Bakhmut to units of the Russian military.

In a video released by his press service, Yevgeny Prigozhin said they would completely withdraw from the destroyed city by June 1.

"We are withdrawing units from Bakhmut today,” he said. “We are handing over positions to the military, ammunition and everything.

"We pull back, we rest, we prepare and then we will get new tasks," added Prigozhin, who was dressed in tactical body armour and a military helmet.

Despite the Ukrainian Armed Forces' claims that they are still engaged in fighting for the city, for the last several days Russian forces have been celebrating what they call the "complete capture of Bakhmut".

 Vladimir Putin has personally congratulated the Wagner PMC mercenaries, who purportedly played a significant role in the Russian offensive on Bakhmut.


Prior to this announcement, Yevgeny Prigozhin had been involved in a heated dispute with the Russian Ministry of Defense. However, during recent remarks, he not only criticized the ministry but also made a puzzling reference to a "happy grandfather" who could potentially turn out to be a "complete asshole."

The person to whom he was referring remains unclear, but has prompted much discussion among commentators and on social media.

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