- Wagner Group’s chief criticized Russia for concealing the truth about Ukraine’s fighting abilities.
- In a video, Yevgeny Prigozhin appeared sitting in front of large mats in the colors of Ukraine’s flag.
- The out-spoken mercenary group’s leader has been publicly feuding with Russia’s military leadership.
The outspoken head of Russia’s notorious Wagner mercenary group praised Ukraine’s fighting abilities while sitting in front of the colors of Ukraine’s flag.
In a video address, Yevgeny Prigozhin criticized the Russian establishment for not telling the country’s citizens the truth about the “very difficult” situation in Ukraine.
Behind him, large blue and yellow floor mats appear to be placed in a way that resembles Ukraine’s flag. It’s not clear if this was intentional.
“The enemy is well prepared; they are being helped from all sides,” he said, per the translation posted by Ukrainian official Anton Gerashchenko.
—Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) May 31, 2023
“We have to understand that we’re not just fighting some post-Soviet Ukrainians who are afraid of us and are trembling,” Prigozhin said.
Behind Prigozhin, two boxing punch bags can be seen in the room, and the Wagner boss continued: “We must be strong. If you go to the ring and you are told that the opponent is weak, and you come, and they are a professional boxer, you leave the ring with a broken jaw.”
Gerashchenko commented on Twitter: “Interesting choice of floor mat colors behind him.”
Escalating his public feud with Russia
Despite reports suggesting that the mercenary group’s leader could be planning a coup to overthrow Putin, Prigozhin has denied this and said his army would not be strong enough.