The head of the Wagner Group has criticized the Russian military for fleeing positions in Bakhmut and exposing his troops fighting for control of the city.

In a video statement, Prigozhin mocked a report by the Russian Ministry of Defence that said its forces had left their positions to move to more favourable ones. He said they instead had effectively fled and “our flanks are crumbling”.

“You must immediately stop lying,” Prigozhin said, addressing the Russian military leaders.

“If you fled, you must prepare new defensive lines.”

He added that Ukrainian forces have managed to reclaim critical high ground around the city and have unblocked a key supply route.

He also said the defence ministry’s failure to protect Wagner’s mercenary forces amounted to high treason and could result in a “great tragedy” for Russia.

SOURCE: Inputs from New Agencies

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