Russian Mercenary Offered to Give Ukraine Russian Troop Locations

May 15, 2023


Leaked U.S. Pentagon Documents revealed that the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in January offered to disclose Russian troop locations to Ukraine in exchange for Ukraine easing up on his Russian mercenaries on the front lines in Bakhmut.

The revelation was first reported by The Washington Post, based on classified Pentagon documents leaked in a group chat on the social media site, Discord. 

Prigozhin has been publicly feuding with Russia’s military commanders, even threatening earlier this month to pull his Wagner mercenaries out of the front-line city of Bakhmut. In fact, the leaked U.S. documents show Prigozhin griping about the heavy toll that fighting has taken on his forces. 

The documents further reveal Prigozhin urging Ukraine to strike harder against Russian troops.

Yet the mercenary leader is also so closely tied to the Russian President and the Kremlin that he’s known as “Putin’s Chef.”

At least two Ukrainian officials have confirmed that Prigozhin had spoken several times to the Ukrainian intelligence directorate, known as HUR. One official said the mercenary leader extended the offer regarding Russian troop locations more than once. However, Kyiv rejected his offer, believing it to be untrustworthy. 

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, when asked, would not confirm any contact with Prigozhin.

“This is a matter of [military] intelligence,” he said during an inverview with the Post. 

Prigozhin had vowed to take Bakhmut by May 9, in time for Russia’s annual Victory Day celebrations commemorating its defeat of Nazi Germany. Days later, though, it was reported that Ukraine had made significant gains in the beleaguered city, driving Russian forces back to the point where Prigozhin himself asserted that a long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive was under way.

Bakhmut is a regional transport and logistics hub. If taken by Russia, it would give its forces an opening to advance on two bigger Ukrainian cities in the prized Donetsk region: Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

A 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts National Air Guard, Jack Teixeira, has been charged with unauthorized detention and transmission of national defense information, as well as unauthorized removal of classified information and defense materials related to dozens of leaked classified Pentagon documents.

PHOTO: Press Service of Prigozhin, Telegram

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