Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, who spent months on the ground in Bakhmut, said the Kremlin's claims about inflicting heavy losses on Ukraine are 'wild and absurd science fiction'

  • The Wagner Company leader Yevgeny Prigozhin scoffed at the Kremlin's reports of big wins in Ukraine.

  • To kill 1,500 soldiers, as Moscow claimed, he said Russia would need to take 93 miles of land daily.

  • He said the tally was "wild and absurd science fiction," further antagonizing the Kremlin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Russian mercenary company that fought in Bakhmut, said he wasn't buying Moscow's claims that it inflicted heavy losses on Ukrainian troops in Donetsk.

Russia's defense ministry said on Monday that it had quashed a major offensive by Ukraine, wiping out 1,500 enemy soldiers, 109 armored vehicles, and 28 tanks — including eight Leopard tanks provided by Germany and three AMX-10 reconnaissance vehicles from France.

But in a Monday statement from his press service, Prigozhin said the Kremlin's tally was "wild and absurd science fiction."

To kill 1,500 soldiers, the Wagner Group boss said Russia would have to advance 93 miles every day.

"Therefore, I believe that this is simply wild and absurd science fiction," Prigozhin said.

The numbers the defense ministry's spokesperson gave would mean that Russia's army would have "just destroyed the entire planet Earth five times over" and "reached the aliens," he added.

Prigozhin, who was on the ground for months with his troops in a region devastated by war, didn't give detail on how he drew these conclusions.

But his latest criticism of the Kremlin further intensifies the existing animosity between the mercenary boss and Moscow's top military leaders.

The Wagner leader recently attacked Russia's defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, saying in May that Shoigu's children and the Russian elite lived in luxury while ordinary citizens were dying in Ukraine.

Earlier that month, he screamed insults and curses at Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov, the Russian army's chief of the general staff, in an expletive-filled video where he raged about ammo shortages and heavy casualties.

On Friday, he accused the Kremlin of leaving landmines in the way of his withdrawing troops and questioned why they were placed in their way. With the mines so far in the rear, they could neither have been planted by Ukraine nor laid with the intention of destroying Ukrainian forces, Prigozhin said.

He released an hour-long interview on Monday in which he asked the Kremlin's top leaders to visit the war zone and be with their troops.

Ukraine's and Russia's Defense Ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.

June 7, 2023: An earlier version of this story misstated when the Defense Ministry issued its statement. It issued on Monday, not Tuesday.

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