Head of Wagner group claims up to 1,200 recruits join its ranks daily
Evegeny Prigozhin makes public another conflict with Russian officials over burials of fighters
Evgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group, claimed on Saturday that up to 1,200 new recruits join its ranks every day.
“The result that we are having now, we did not expect it. We have days when we recruit up to 1,200 people a day. An average number fluctuates from 500 to 800,” he said on Telegram.
Prigozhin said he expects that by mid-May the number of fighters will increase by 30,000.
According to him, newcomers have better physical form than people the group was hiring previously, and pass test for physical training in the first attempt.
Prigozhin also made public another conflict with Russian officials, this time with the governor of Russia’s Krasnodar region.
He said his group, which is involved in Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, bought a plot for some 700 graves in the Russian town of Goryachy Klyuch, but local authorities were instructed to ban Wagner from burying their fighters at the cemetery.
He also published a call recording in this regard, and stressed that Wagner will bury their “martyred comrades” nevertheless, and if the process is “hindered,” they will “take the necessary measures.”
“The fighters of Wagner protect the interests of Russia. They are dying for our motherland. However, some officials put stick in their wheels wherever possible.
“They do not give orders and medals, they do not give weapons and ammunition, they do not allow our comrades to be buried.
“If on the territory of the largest country in the world — Russia — there is no one by two meter of soil to bury there with honors a hero who fought for the interests of the country … then what will happen to the people next?” Prigozhin questioned.
Earlier, Prigozhin complained that the Russian Defense Ministry and military commanders do not authorize ammunition supplies to Wagner due to its formal “non-existence.”