Day 436: Wagner chief threatens to pull fighters out of Bakhmut on May 10

Prigozhin says Wagner fighters to pull out of Bakhmut on May 10. Russian S-300 missiles hit two plants in Donetsk region. EU finally agrees to disburse one billion euro to buy ammunition for Ukraine.

Wagner chief threatens to pull fighters out of Bakhmut on May 10 

Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder and financier of the Wagner Group, announced on Friday that his fighters will leave the city of Bakhmut on May 10 due to a shortage of ammunition. “I officially address the defense minister [Shoigu] and the supreme commander-in-chief [Putin]: my lads will not suffer useless and unjustified losses in Bakhmut without ammunition. On May 10, 2023, we will pull out of Bakhmut,” Prigozhin said in a video address.

Hours earlier, the Wagner chief published a video, in which he stands beside the bodies of dozens of his fighters and directly dresses down Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, blaming him for ammunition shortage that holds Wagnerites back from capturing Bakhmut.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that he saw Prigozhin’s statement, but “can’t comment on it” because it concerns the course of the so-called “special military operation” (Russia’s euphemistic term for its war in Ukraine).

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said Russia was desperately trying to seize Bakhmut by 9 May. To achieve that goal, Russia was bringing Wagner fighters from elsewhere to replace the paratrooper assault units currently fighting in Bakhmut.

Malyar said that Ukrainian troops thwart the enemy’s attempts to break through the defenses. Ukrainian artillery destroyed some Wagner ammunition depots, she added.

Russian S-300 missiles hit two plants in Donetsk region

Two Russian S-300 missiles hit the Zeus Ceramica plant in Slovyansk, in Donetsk region. In Kramatorsk, missiles damaged an administration building of the Novokramatorsky machine building plant. “Slovyansk and Kramatorsk are under attack as the enemy targets industrial sites,” head of the Donetsk regional military administration Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram.

According to preliminary reports, there were no casualties. The strike damaged the buildings, but valuable equipment was earlier moved to safer regions in Ukraine, Kyrylenko said.

EU finally agrees to disburse one billion euro to buy ammunition for Ukraine

The EU Council formally adopted on Friday a one billion euro measure under the European Peace Facility to supply Ukraine with artillery ammunition.

“The assistance measure will finance the provision to the Ukrainian Armed Forces of 155-mm-calibre artillery rounds and, if requested, missiles which will be jointly procured by EU member states from the European defence industry,” a statement by the EU Council reads.

The measure will support purchase of ammunition and missiles from the EU or Norway. Components for production may come from outside the EU. 

The text comes as compromise to address the division among the EU members that disagreed over limiting the scheme to firms from the EU.

Is the West getting tired of the war? Ukraine in Flames #421

Images of the death and destruction in Ukraine are everywhere. War fatigue is a natural response to such overexposure, as we’re constantly bombarded with images of traumatic events when we’re online. It is essential that Western authorities confront Ukraine fatigue head-on, maintaining empathy for the Ukrainian cause and rightly laying blame for the energy and food crisis at russia’s door. Watch Ukraine in flames #421 to find out about the fear that the West is going to lose interest in supporting Ukraine and what has to be done to sustain the help Ukraine needs to win.  


  • Archil Tsintsadze, Security Policy Expert
  • Valeriy Chaly, Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA (2015-2019), Chairman of the Board of Ukraine Crisis Media Center
  • Kateryna Zarembo, Analyst on the Foreign Policy of Ukraine