Russian mercenary chief announces plans to recruit 30,000 more fighters | CNN


Head of Russia Wagner Private military group Eugenie Prigogne announced on Saturday that it plans to recruit about 30,000 new fighters by mid-May, according to an audio message published on Telegram.

Pregozen also claimed that Wagner recruited about 500 to 800 people per day on average, sometimes up to 1,200 per day.

“It is possible that this number of recruits will decrease after some time. However, by mid-May, we plan to increase the number of combatants of the unit by about 30,000,” Prigozhin said in an audio message. said

Wagner is a mercenary run by Prigozhin, who has been heavily visible on the front lines in recent months – and is always quick to claim credit for Russian advances.

The group is known for its blunt and brutal tactics and little regard for the lives of its own soldiers. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling described His strategy in eastern Ukraine is “like feeding meat to a meat grinder.”

Last week, Prigozhin said Wagner had begun recruiting efforts in 42 cities across Russia.

Wagner has focused on recruiting men from sports clubs, boxing gyms and other gyms who have already completed six-month contracts and can be rehired. Wagner has also recruited a small number of foreign fighters.

CNN previously reported that Wagner said this. Recruitment from prisons stopped in January. The prison recruitment drive was well publicized and widespread, producing 40,000 fighters for Wagner last year.

But many of the private military group’s recruits have been killed or wounded in heavy fighting around the city of Bakhmut, the scene of a months-long battle.

That the group is seeking tens of thousands of new fighters suggests it has suffered heavy losses in the conflict.

Earlier this month, Prigozhin admitted that in this situation Bakhmut “Hard, very hard, the enemies were fighting each other for every single meter.”

Although Wagner made additional gains around Bachmut and now held the eastern part of the city, this came at a great cost. Prigozhin called for the support of regular Russian forces and a more reliable flow of ammunition, but neither materialized. He accused the Russian Defense Ministry of trying to strangle his forces.

Ukrainian Military Intelligence Reports Here’s a description of the remorse tactics Wagner used, obtained by CNN. A December 2022 report concluded that “the deaths of thousands of Wagner soldiers are of no importance to Russian society.”

In January, one of Wagner’s former mercenaries said he had finally witnessed the brutality in Ukraine. pushed him to defectIn an exclusive CNN interview.

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