For months, Russian Wagner mercenaries have been trying in vain to storm the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut. In Washington, it is believed that financial motives are also the reason for the ongoing attacks. According to this, Wagner boss Prigoschin is targeting the natural resources near the city.
According to White House estimates, Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Russian mercenary group Wagner and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is intent on taking control of the salt and gypsum mines near the Ukrainian-controlled town of Bakhmut. This was announced by a White House official. There are indications that Russia's "obsession" with capturing Bakhmut is fueled by monetary motives, the official added.
The Wagner mercenaries originally consisted of battle-hardened former soldiers of the Russian army. It has fought in Libya, Syria, Mali and is now also deployed in Ukraine, particularly in the Bakhmut area. After the war began, Prigozhin also recruited thousands of men from Russian prisons.
On Thursday, Prigozhin released the first ex-prisoners after their six-month term of service. Russian media showed pictures of Prigozhin shaking hands with former prisoners in farewell. "Don't drink too much, don't do drugs and don't rape women," he said. You would have learned a lot, primarily how to kill the enemy. "But I definitely don't want you to use this achievement in forbidden territory. If you want to kill enemies again, you come back."
According to US insiders, Putin is increasingly turning to the Wagner group in light of the military difficulties in Ukraine. Their influence is increasing. It is said that Wagner is increasingly isolating himself from the Russian Ministry of Defense.