Tens of thousands of fighters were gathered to fight Ukraine for the Wagner GroupA Russian NGO reported that the Russian mercenary combat corps was missing or dead.
While the Wagner Group has recruited nearly 50,000 fighters in recent months, including from prisons, only 10,000 fighters are still fighting at the front for Wagner, said Olga Romanova, the head of Russia Behind Bars. My Russian rightsto me Moscow Times.
According to our data, 42-43 thousand [prisoners] They are recruited by the end of December. Now there are probably more than 50,000 of them, Romanova said. “Of these, 10,000 are fighting on the front, for the remainder are either killed…or missing, or deserted, or surrendered.”
The cited statistic is the latest indication that Wagner’s fighting power is unraveling in Ukraine, even as Russia works its way to victories on the battlefield nearly a year later. Ukraine invasion.
Fighters of the Wagner Group took part in the heavy fighting at solidar In recent weeks, a town where Russia has declared victory. Wagner was also largely responsible for the gains at nearby Bakhmut, “at extraordinary cost,” since many of Wagner’s recruits had had little training since Wagner recruited 40,000 convicts, said John Kirby, the White House National Security Council coordinator, to reporters in the past. week.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hinted at the massive losses the Russians are taking on Solidar in a recent speech as well.
“The area near Solidar is covered with the corpses of the invaders,” Zelensky said. “This is what madness looks like.”
The US Department of Defense also estimated that Russian and Wagner forces suffered heavy losses.
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters last week that the number is “significantly over 100,000 now.” “The Russians have suffered a huge number of losses in the ranks of their army, and this includes their regular army and its mercenaries as well, the Wagner Group, and other forces that fight with the Russians.”
There are indications that some of these losses may be flight. Earlier this month, a former member of the Wagner Group, Andrey MedvedevAFP reports that he was caught fleeing in Norway. Medvedev, who was arrested, is believed to be the first member of Wagner flaw To the west, according to the BBC.
Medvedev has offered to share details about his experiences in the private mercenary group to help uncover war crimes for investigators, AFP reports. He reportedly witnessed the “execution of deserters” and Terrorist methods.
The Biden administration announced last week that it was designating the Wagner Group as a “transnational criminal organization” in an effort to cut off Wagner’s supply and ability to do business around the world.
Kirby of the National Security Council said, “Wagner is a criminal organization… that commits atrocities and human rights abuses on a massive scale, and we will work relentlessly to identify, disrupt, detect, and target those who assist Wagner.”
News of Wagner’s breakup comes as the mercenary group is also having problems with the Kremlin. Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose military has been bogged down in Ukraine by logistical and command-and-control failures, has relied on the fighting power of the Wagner Group to try to offset the failures of Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine for some time, according to the White House. National Security Council assessment. But Putin and the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, have been at odds in recent days, contradicting each other. Snip that their fighting forces are responsible for Solidar.
Putin appears to have begun trying to return the weight of the Russian fighting back to the military in recent weeks. The president shook the leadership of Russia’s armed forces earlier this month with a pitch General Valery GerasimovIn an apparent attempt to inject some momentum into the Russian military strategy.
The latest change likely sidelined Wagner, according to the Institute for the Study of War.
The ISW stated in a statement that “Putin’s decision to focus on and rely on conventional Russian forces sidelines the Wagner Group and the Siloviki faction which nonetheless continues to contribute to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.” Assess this week.
Gerasimov began his work by trying to improve the discipline of Russia’s armed forces, according to a British government intelligence assessment published on Monday.
“Since taking command, the officers have attempted to crack down on disorderly dress, travel in civilian vehicles, use of cell phones, and non-standard haircuts,” the intelligence assessment said. The actions have been met with skeptical responses. However, some of the greatest derision has been reserved for attempts to improve the barbering of the troops.
“Professional web geek. Alcohol fan. Devoted zombie trailblazer. Certified social media lover. Amateur creator. Friendly food nerd.”