Wagner's boss claims The Russian military is refusing mercenaries ammunition
In the continuing conflict between himself and certain Russian elites, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the billionaire founder of the Wagner mercenary organisation in Russia, has accused unnamed officials of depriving his warriors of enough ammunition.
Prigozhin, a former catering entrepreneur who used to avoid the spotlight, has taken on an increasingly public role in Russian politics since the start of the Ukrainian war a year ago, as his Wagner Group spearheads Russia's months-long battle for the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region.
In a seven-minute audio statement released by his press service on Monday, a seemingly furious and emotional Prigozhin stated that he was required to "apologise and follow" in order to secure ammunition for his fighters.
"I'm unable to fix this issue despite all my ties and contacts," he said, occasionally cursing and speaking in hushed tones.
According to Prigozhin, Russia's military output is now adequate to support the troops battling at the front, and the logistic problems his soldiers are facing are the result of deliberate choices.
He has saved his harshest criticism for Russia's Minister of Defense, which he accuses of attempting to claim credit for Wagner's battlefield accomplishments.
Prigozhin said in his audio message that the unnamed people he blamed for the ammo scarcity were "eating breakfast, lunch, and supper off gilded dishes" and sending their families on vacation to Dubai, a favourite location for the Russian wealthy.
Prigozhin has been one of Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu's harshest detractors, claiming that his troops are far more successful than the regular force.