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The head of Wagner Yevgeni Prigozhin has accused the Russian Defense Ministry of treason for failing to supply Wagner fighters in Ukraine with munitions, the Moscow Times has reported, citing a statement Prigozhin made through one of his companies.
The head of the military contractor company is accusing the Russian authorities, including the Chief of General Staff, of deliberately not supplying Wagner fighters in Ukraine with ammunition and refusing to assist them with air transport.
"There is quite simply direct obstruction going on," Prigozhin said, adding "This can be equated with high treason."
The head of Wagner and the Defense Ministry have been at odds for quite a while, the Moscow Times notes in its report. Last month, Prigozhin accused the Defense Ministry of trying to take credit for victories earned by Wagner.
Prigozhin’s statement comes a day after Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, said in his annual address to the nation that he will pull Russia out of the New START treaty with the United States.
The New START treaty was the last remaining arms control treaty between the two Cold War superpowers.
Previously, the U.S. and Russia had agreed to extend the treaty through February 4, 2026. The Treaty between the U.S. and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, also known as the New START Treaty, entered into force in February 2011.
Russia’s representative to the international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, tweeted to clarify that the Russian suspension of the Treaty “does not mean withdrawal; return to the Treaty remains possible under certain circumstances.”
Wagner’s Prigozhin, meanwhile, said that in Bakhmut, where Wagner fighters are spearheading the Russian offense, Russia could take the area in the next month or in April. Earlier, he had said it could take a few months.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com