The paramilitary group Wagner lost 20% of detainees enlisted to fight in Ukraine. This was admitted, Wednesday, May 24, his boss Evguéni Prigojine. “I selected 50,000 detainees of whom around 20% were killed”he said in an interview with pro-Kremlin blogger Konstantin Dolgov.
Franceinfo takes stock of this new day of conflict.
Fighters claiming Russia incursion tout ‘success’
Two groups fighting on the Ukrainian side and who have claimed responsibility for an incursion in the past two days in a Russian border region, boasted on Wednesday of the “hit” of their operation which showed, according to them, the weakness of the Russian defenses. Speaking to reporters in northern Ukraine not far from the Russian border, the founder of one such group, Denis Kapustin of the Russian Volunteer Corps, said that having entered Russia and to have returned to Ukraine “can be considered a success”.
The attack to which pro-Ukrainian fighters refer took place in the Belgorod region on Monday, when Moscow reported the incursion of groups of “saboteurs” from Ukraine, the most serious incident of this type in history. is accompanied by Ukrainian bombardments on Russian villages which left one dead and 13 injured.
Washington approves sale of surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine
The United States announced on Wednesday the sale of advanced NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems to Ukraine for some $285 million to bolster the country’s air defense against Russia.“Ukraine urgently needs to strengthen its defense capabilities against missile strikes and Russian aircraft”, the US Defense Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement. The State Department has approved the sale, which has been notified to the US Congress, which has yet to give its green light. This sale of NASAMS systems comes alongside the billions of dollars in military aid provided by the United States to Ukraine since the start of the Russian offensive on February 24, 2022.
Russia accuses Ukraine of attacking one of its ships in the Turkish economic zone
Russia on Wednesday accused Ukraine of attacking one of its warships while it was on patrol in Turkey’s exclusive economic zone, saying it destroyed three unmanned boats in the assault. “Ukrainian Armed Forces unsuccessfully attempted to attack the Black Sea Fleet ship Ivan Khours…in Turkey’s Exclusive Economic Zone”the Russian Defense Ministry said on Telegram.
Several incidents involving Russian warships or aircraft have occurred in the Black Sea since the start of the offensive in Ukraine launched on February 24, 2022. In April 2022, Ukraine claimed to have sunk the ship using missiles. Admiral of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser Moskva, Moscow referring to an accident involving ammunition on board.
Around 10,000 of inmates recruited by Wagner killed in Ukraine, leader says
About 10,000 of the 50,000 prisoners recruited from Russian prisons by the paramilitary group Wagner were killed in Ukraine, where they were on the front line in the very bloody battle of Bakhmout, admitted the head of the organization, Yevgeny Prigojine. “I selected 50,000 detainees of whom around 20% were killed”Prigozhin said in an interview published Tuesday evening by pro-Kremlin blogger Konstantin Dolgov.
In addition, he indicated that a similar proportion of his professional fighters had also died in combat, without however quantifying their precise number. According to him, the Ukrainian losses are much heavier: “I have three times fewer killed and (…) about half as many injured”.