A Russian independent news outlet is reporting that sources within the Kremlin say that Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s repeated attacks on Moscow’s top military leaders have crossed a line and Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to use his security services to “put a stop to it,” the UK Daily Mail reported.
In recent weeks, Prigozhin has repeatedly criticized Russia’s top military brass and defense officials over the lack of supplies and ammunition to support his mercenary fighters as they continue to wage the war’s bloodiest battle around the eastern city of Bakhmut.
Over the weekend, Prigozhin sent a letter to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu demanding that his fighters be relieved by the Chechen Akhmat battalion, led by Ramzan Kadyrov by midnight on May 10.
It was reported last Friday that Kadyrov offered to take over Wagner’s positions around Bakhmut. The following day, Prigozhin endorsed the offer, saying Kadyrov’s Akhmat battalion would “no doubt” take the city.
On Tuesday, as Russia was celebrating Victory Day marking the Soviet defeat over Nazi Germany in the Second World War, Prigozhin posted a video on Telegram warning that the Ukraine counteroffensive would not be on television but “on the ground.” Prigozhin said the Kremlin is not able to “defend the country.”
In another recent Telegram post, Prigozhin branded President Putin a “complete asshole” amid reports that Russia was retreating from Bakhmut.
According to the Russian independent news outlet Meduza, a Kremlin source warned that if Prigozhin’s attacks continue, Putin’s security forces will “put a stop to it.”
Meduza reported that Russian state media have already been instructed by the Kremlin to portray Prigozhin as a traitor if he continues to criticize the Defense Ministry or report on the “failures on the front.”
The source added that if Prigozhin continues to “break ranks,” the Kremlin will turn on him.