Blaming The Kremlin For ‘Stupid Meat Assaults,’ Wagner Mercenaries Seize Russia’s Logistical Hub For Southern Ukraine


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Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Russia’s Wagner Group mercenary firm, on Friday finally lost patience with the Russian military leadership. He ordered his fighters in Ukraine to cross the border into Russia and take up positions around the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don, 50 miles from the border with Ukraine.

As Russian police and national guardsmen stood and watched, Wagner infantry and tanks effectively took control of the Kremlin’s main logistical hub for operations in southern Ukraine. Where, it just so happens, the Ukrainian armed forces have been counterattacking since June 4.

Wagner’s corporate army in Ukraine peaked at around 50,000 fighters late last year as the firm wrapped up a recruitment drive in Russia’s prison system and assumed responsibility for the main effort around Bakhmut, a ruined city in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

Wagner had jet fighters. It had T-90 tanks. It arguably was the most effective fighting force in the Russian military establishment.

For an entire year, the Kremlin focused its campaign in Ukraine on the nearly lifeless ruins of Bakhmut. Fighting on the Kremlin’s behalf, Wagner lost thousands of men in repeated human-wave assaults on Ukrainian positions in and around the city.

As Wagner bled, Prigozhin raged. Broadcasting gory videos of Wagner dead, Prigozhin accused the Kremlin—and Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu in particular—of wasting his fighters’ lives by depriving them of artillery support. “You threw ordinary soldiers into stupid meat assaults,” one Wagnerite seethed at Shoigu.

Wagner ultimately occupied Bakhmut back in May with some help from regular Russian forces. But it was a pyrrhic victory. Bakhmut always had more symbolic value than military value; in capturing the symbol, Russia expended the last of its offensive combat power.

Wagner’s survivors pulled back. The rest of the Russian war machine shifted to a defensive mode. And a month later, the Ukrainians launched their long-anticipated counteroffensive. As Ukrainian brigades advanced, Prigozhin accused Shoigu and his lieutenants of obscuring Russia’s deepening losses.

The breaking point came on Thursday, when Prigozhin accused Shoigu of ordering a missile strike on a Wagner encampment. “They made this decision: to destroy the rebellious units, who are ready to defend the motherland but not their asses,” Prigozhin said.

Hours later, Wagner troops rolled toward Rostov-on-Don. “We’ve crossed the state borders in all areas,” Prigozhin said.

There was little or no resistance. “Border guards came towards us and hugged our fighters,” Prigozhin chortled. Kremlin officials ordered troops onto the streets in Moscow—and called for Prigozhin’s arrest. Russian Vladimir Putin was silent.

Where this ends, no one knows. Prigozhin’s beef is with Shoigu and Russia’s top uniformed military leaders, not with Putin. But the president eventually came out against Prigozhin in a harsh statement. The Wagner chief will “answer not only before the law, but before the people,” Putin said.

In the meantime, however, a rogue element controls the main rail hub for supplies flowing from Russia into southern Ukraine. Inasmuch as Ukrainian commanders were waiting for a miracle, one that might fundamentally alter the battlefield dynamics, it may finally have occurred.

Don’t be shocked if Kyiv finally deploys those powerful brigades it’s been holding in reserve in the south.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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