BY ANADOLU AGENCY
MOSCOW MAR 11, 2023 – daily sabah
Yevgeny Prigozhin (left) assists Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a dinner with foreign scholars and journalists at the restaurant Cheval Blanc on the premises of an equestrian complex outside Moscow Nov. 11, 2011. (Reuters File Photo)
Russia advances in eastern Bakhmut as Ukraine controls west
Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who leads the Wagner mercenary group, said he plans to run for president in the 2024 elections.
“I’m making a political coming out. Looking at everything around me, I’ve got political ambitions. So I decided to run for president in 2024. For President of Ukraine,” Prigozhin said in a video posted on Telegram.
Prigozhin said he expects to compete for this post with former President Petro Poroshenko and incumbent Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“If I win the presidential elections of Ukraine, then everything will be fine, guys; the shells will not be needed,” he said.
Asked why he complains about poor ammunition supplies from the Russian defense industry and does not buy it himself, Prigozhin said if he buys everything with his own money, it will be “state management, not a business.”
According to him, the Wagner group needs some 10,000 tons of ammunition, worth approximately $1 billion, every month.
On human losses, Prigozhin said, “fighters die at war in any case; the war is so invented that one army kills another.”
He refuted allegations that he is in cahoots with the Ukrainian authorities and “for money and lifting of sanction” will leave the battle zone “at the right moment.”
“I am not going anywhere. The question is — who took the money when we ‘made a gesture of goodwill’ and surrendered Kherson, Kharkiv region, and many other (territories)?” he questioned, hinting at the Russian military chiefs.
In a separate statement, Prigozhin announced that Wagner recruitment centers have opened in 42 Russian cities.
“New fighters are coming there who will go side by side with us to defend their country and family. To make our common future and protect the memory of the past. We will go forward despite the colossal resistance of Ukraine’s armed forces. Despite the sticks in the wheels stuck in ours at every move, we will overcome this together,” Prigozhin said.
Prigozhin is at odds with the Russian military chiefs, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and head of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.
The head of the Wagner group many times publicly doubted the competence of the Russian Defense Ministry and its top officials, voiced his suspicions of the ministry’s “jealousy” for Wagner’s “successes,” and in connection with that — of intentionally causing obstacles to the group, including cutting supplies of ammunition.
Categories: Eurasia, Europe, Europe and Australia, Russia, Ukraine
Am I the only one who thinks this is the strangest News of the Day? Why not, let him be President and there is no more need of war I suppose.