Battle for Bakhmut highlights divide between Wagner mercenary chief and the Kremlin

The founder and leader of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has been touted as someone who could pose a political challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Once a key battlefield ally, in recent days Prigozhin has publicly lamented losing his direct line to the Kremlin. Wagner fighters are not being supplied with enough ammunition to win the battle for Bakhmut despite his numerous appeals, in what may be a sign of a struggle for influence in Moscow – and, notably, at Russia’s ministry of defence.

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