Ukrainian intelligence believes that the founder of the Russian PMC Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is not really going to withdraw his mercenaries from Bakhmut, as he said in a video message addressed to the Russian military leadership.
"Prigozhin is not going to withdraw Wagner mercenaries from Bakhmut. He made these statements because he cannot fulfill another promise - to capture Bakhmut by May 9. Therefore, he is now trying to make someone guilty of this, because he understands that he can no longer keep his word," explained the representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry (GUR MO) Andriy Chernyak in a commentary to the news agency RBC-Ukraine.
Chernyak stressed that at present the Main Intelligence Directorate does not observe any withdrawals of troops in the Bakhmut area.
However, the Wagner mercenaries do have some problems with the ammunition supply, Chernyak notes.
"But no matter how much ammunition they get, it will not be enough for them. That is, the more they are given, the more they need and the more they want to get," he explained.
On April 5, two video messages from Prigozhin were published, in which he lashes out at the military leadership of the Russian Federation for not supplying PMCs with enough ammunition. According to Prigozhin, this leads to numerous losses among his mercenaries. Prigozhin threatened to withdraw his mercenaries from Bakhmut on May 10 if the situation with the ammunition supply did not change.
The deputy head of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Anna Malyar, also expressed doubts about sincerity of Prigozhin's statements. She said that Russia, on the contrary, is moving Wagner mercemairs from other directions to Bakhmut in order to capture it by May 9.