Russian Military Group Wagner Ready to Defend Belgorod Against Ukrainian Attacks
Head of Wagner Group Ready for Interventions
Today, Saturday, the head of the Wagner military group confirmed that he is ready to send his units to defend the Russian region of Belgorod on the border with Ukraine, subjected in recent days to intense bombing and attacks.
Defense of Russian People and Region
Yevgeny Prigozhin said, “If the (Russian) Defense Ministry does not stop what is happening in the Belgorod region … where Russian lands are being seized, it is clear that we will intervene.”
In an audio message released by his press office, he added: “We will defend our Russian people and all who live there,” explaining that his men will not wait for an “invitation” or permission to deploy in the region.
“The only thing we will ask for is ammunition in so you don’t come up empty handed, as they say in Russia,” Prigozhin added.
Unprecedented Heavy Fire in Belgorod Region
In recent days, the Belgorod region, in particularly the areas closest to the Ukrainian border, came under unprecedented heavy fire since the beginning of the war in Ukraine at the end of February 2022.
Civilian Casualties in Belgorod Region
Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Friday the area was hit by more than 500 artillery, mortar or rocket fire, including more than 370 in and around the town of Shepkino, adding that hundreds of civilians had fled.
Gladkov announced on Saturday that two people had been killed in strikes, bringing the death toll to seven since Friday. Authorities said around 30 people were injured.
Russian Military Repels Ground Attack in Belgorod
Moscow also announced on Thursday that the Air Force and its artillery had repelled an attempted ground attack from Ukraine in the region, a week after a quality armed incursion showed the ease of pration of Russian borders.
Wagner Accuses Russian Military of Giving Up Lands
On Saturday, Wagner’s boss accused the Russian military of “giving up” lands in the Belgorod region.
“The (Russian) Ministry of Defense is in no position to do anything because it doesn’t really exist, it is in mess,” Prigozhin said.
Wagner’s Forces Withdraw from Bakhmut
Yesterday he announced that Wagner’s forces have withdrawn from the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut by “99%” and handed over their positions to the Russian army, after declaring control of the city on May 20.
Wagner Commander Criticizes Kremlin’s Actions
In a related context, Wagner’s commander said in his speech today: “The followers of the Kremlin are destroying Russia by sowing discord between us and the Chechen forces,” adding that “risky games have become commonplace in the corridors of the Kremlin.”