Cracks beginning to appear between Wagner Group and Russia’s Defence Ministry after Soledar capture

Image of Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin. Credit: Yevgeny Prigozhin/@Flash_news_ua

WAGNER GROUP boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has hit out at Russia’s Ministry of Defence after claims that Russian troops had captured Ukraine’s Soledar on Friday, January 13.

Cracks are beginning to appear between the Wagner Group and Russia’s Defence Ministry after Prigozhin fired shots back at Russia’s MoD who claimed on January 13 that Russian troops had captured Ukraine’s salt mine town of Soledar.

“I read with surprise the report of the Ministry of Defense,” a Telegram message read from Prigozhin’s press service.

“There was not a single paratrooper on Soledar, the paratroopers themselves confirm this.”

He added: “Soledar was taken solely by the efforts of the fighters of the Wagner PMC.

“And there is no need to offend the fighters by humiliating their merit.

“You are demotivating them.

“It is necessary to fight, and not to measure with members and steal other people’s merits.”

As noted, the claims from Russia’s Defence Ministry come after Prigozhin himself claimed that Wagner Group – Putin’s network of mercenaries and de facto private army – his forces, acting in coordination with Russian troops, had captured the city on January 6.

On January 10, he again said: “Units of Wagner PMC have taken control of the entire territory of Soledar. A cauldron has been formed in the centre of the city, in which urban battles are being waged. The number of prisoners will be announced tomorrow”.

“I should like to stress once again that no units other than those of the Wagner Cheka were involved in the storming of Soledar”, he added at the time.

However, this was denied by Russian officials who said while there was a “positive dynamic in progress”, people should wait for “official information” about the situation.

Both reports were denied by Ukraine, according to the AFP.

A spokesman for the Eastern Command, Serhii Cherevaty, reportedly said on Ukrainian television: “Fierce fighting is still going on for Soledar.”

He added: “The armed forces of Ukraine are keeping the situation under control in very difficult conditions.”

Cherevaty also stated that Ukrainian troops were fighting against “the best (fighters) of (the Russian mercenary group) Wagner and other Russian special forces”.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]