Wagner’s Prizoghin Disputes Report That He Offered to Betray Russia

The head of the Wagner non-public navy group on Monday rejected a report that he had supplied to share with Ukraine the positioning of Russian Army troops round Bakhmut in trade for a withdrawal of Kyiv’s forces from the world in japanese Ukraine.

The Wagner group has been a driving pressure behind Russia’s monthslong battle to take Bakhmut, which has price hundreds of lives on either side and diminished a lot of town to rubble. Its founder, Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, has publicly clashed with Russia’s navy management over the battle for town, accusing them of ravenous his forces of ammunition.

The Washington Post reported on Sunday {that a} U.S. intelligence doc leaked on the messaging platform Discord mentioned that Mr. Prigozhin instructed contacts in Ukraine’s navy intelligence directorate that he was keen to betray the Russian military’s areas round Bakhmut if Kyiv agreed to withdraw from round Bakhmut. A Ukrainian official instructed The Post that Mr. Prigozhin’s provide — made “more than once” — had been rejected.

In an audio statement revealed on Monday by his press service, Mr. Prigozhin known as the report “speculation” and a “hoax.” He steered that Russia’s corrupt elites, who he mentioned envied his fighters’ achievements on the entrance strains in Ukraine and had been keen to tank his popularity, could possibly be accountable.

Mr. Prigozhin’s mercenaries have taken lead in making an attempt to seize Bakhmut, the location of the longest and one of many bloodiest battles of the struggle, whereas Russian troops have managed the world across the metropolis’s flanks. Over the previous couple of weeks, Mr. Prigozhin has stepped up his accusations of incompetence in opposition to the Russian navy management.

Despite overtly feuding with prime Russian officers, Mr. Prigozhin has been cautious not to criticize President Vladimir V. Putin.

Dmitri S. Peskov, the spokesman for Mr. Putin, mentioned that he wouldn’t touch upon The Post’s report, however mentioned that “it looks like another hoax.”

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