Russia's mercenaries in Ukraine willing to sell out

Mercenaries that fail to stay bought have a relatively short life expectancy, so it is very telling that Putin's hired help in Ukraine has started offering to rat him out. The Washington Post shares a story that the Wagner Group was looking for a way out of Bakhmut and willing to sell out the Russians.

Ukrainian officials have said that since January 2023, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the owner of Wagner Group and a close ally of Putin, has been in contact with them, sharing information and offering to make deals. Prigozhin has been frustrated with the situation in Ukraine for a while and has been threatening to withdraw his forces, but it is unclear if this is spreading false info or signs of cracks inside the Russian war machine.


The leaked U.S. intelligence shows Prigozhin bemoaning the heavy toll that fighting has taken on his own forces and urging Ukraine to strike harder against Russian troops.

According to one document, Prigozhin told a Ukrainian intelligence officer that the Russian military was struggling with ammunition supplies. He advised Ukrainian forces to push forward with an assault on the border of Crimea, which Russia has illegally annexed, while Russian troop morale was low. The report also referred to other intelligence noting that Prigozhin was aware of plummeting morale among Wagner forces and that some of his fighters had balked at orders to deploy in the Bakhmut area under heavy fire, for fear of suffering more casualties.

The Kremlin did not respond to a request for comment about Prigozhin's communications with Ukraine.