March 30, 2023

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Ukraine War: Chief Wagner announces plans to recruit 30,000 fighters by mid-May

(CNN) President of Russia Wagner private military group Yevgeny Prigozhin He announced on Saturday that he plans to recruit about 30,000 new fighters by mid-May, according to an audio message posted on Telegram.

Prigozhin also claimed that Wagner recruited an average of about 500 to 800 people per day, and sometimes as many as 1,200 per day.

“It is possible that this number of recruits will decrease after a while, but by mid-May we plan to increase the number of the unit’s fighters by about 30,000,” Prigozhin said in an audio message.

Wagner is a mercenary company run by Prigozhin, and has been featured heavily on the front lines in recent months – and soon claims credit for the Russian advance.

The group is known for its blunt and brutal tactics, and for showing little concern for the lives of its soldiers. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling described Its tactics in eastern Ukraine are “like feeding meat through a meat grinder”.

Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin delivers a video message outside Bakhmut, Ukraine, in March.

Last week, Prigozhin said Wagner had opened recruitment efforts in 42 cities in Russia.

Wagner focused its attention on recruiting mercenaries from gyms, boxing gyms, and other gyms, as well as men who had previously completed six-month contracts and could be rehired. Wagner also recruited a small number of foreign fighters.

CNN previously reported that Wagner said this Stop recruiting from prisons in january. The prison recruitment campaign has been well publicized and widespread, bringing together up to 40,000 fighters with Wagner last year.

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But many of the PMG recruits were killed or wounded in the fierce fighting around the city of Bakhmut, which was the scene of months-long battle.

The group’s pursuit of tens of thousands of new fighters indicates that it has suffered significant losses in the conflict.

Earlier this month, Prigozhin acknowledged that the situation in Bakhmut It was “difficult, very difficult, with the enemy fighting over every meter.”

Although Wagner made additional gains around Bakhmut and now occupied the eastern part of the city, this came at a heavy cost. Prigozhin called for the support of regular Russian troops and a more reliable flow of munitions, but neither was forthcoming. He accused the Russian Defense Ministry of trying to stifle his power.

Ukrainian military intelligence a report Obtained by CNN, he detailed the ruthless tactics used by Wagner. The report, dated December 2022, concluded that “the deaths of thousands of Wagner soldiers do not matter to Russian society.”

In January, the former Wagner mercenary said the brutality he had witnessed in Ukraine was finally over prompted him to defectin an exclusive interview with CNN.