BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT: The private Russian group of hired soldiers known as the Wagner Group once operated in the shadows, but in the past year has become an important part of the Russian war machine in Ukraine. The leader of the group Yevgeny Prigozhin is a trusted ally of the Kremlin, but recent comments criticizing Russian Defense Ministry officials raise questions about the real influence wielded by the group and its owner.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has added to the notoriety and mystique of this Private Military Company (PMC). Recently, however, long-running tensions between Wagner and the Russian military have come to light. In a audio message published by his own press service, Prigozhin blamed Russian military officials for withholding weapons and ammunition he says are desperately needed by Wagner’s forces on the battlefield.
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