The boss of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, scoffed at claims by the Russian Defense Ministry to thwart a major Ukrainian offensive. Photo/The Economic Times
MOSCOW – The boss of the mercenary group Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin, mocked the Ministry of Defense (Ministry of Defense) Russia after claiming to thwart a “large scale” attack by Ukraine which caused huge losses.
Prigozhin, whose troops spent months fighting in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and has frequently criticized Russia’s top military brass, dismissed Russia’s latest claims as a “wild fantasy” on his Telegram channel early Tuesday.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Monday that its forces had repelled a major Ukrainian offensive in the southern Donetsk region, destroying their military equipment and killing around 1,500 Ukrainian soldiers.
There was no immediate comment from Kiev on the Russian statement and it was impossible to verify the claim. The two countries frequently make claims of heavy casualties in each other that cannot be independently verified.
“To destroy one and a half thousand people, that must be an incredible massacre, in one day, more than 150 kilometers, an incredible massacre,” said Prigozhin in response to these claims.
“Therefore, I think this is just some wild fantasy,” he continued.
“To add up the figures provided by the ministry would imply we have destroyed the entire planet five times over,” he added sarcastically.
Prigozhin had been embroiled in an increasingly bitter open dispute with the regular Russian army. He frequently puts out angry, rant videos in which he harshly criticizes Moscow’s military leadership.
Wagner’s forces led a months-long assault on the now-ruined Bakhmut, claiming control of the town last month.