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Evgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group, claimed on Saturday that up to 1,200 recruits are joining their ranks every day.
“The result we are getting now we did not expect. We have days when we hire up to 1,200 people a day. The average number fluctuates from 500 to 800,” he said on Telegram.
Prigozhin said he expects that by mid-May the number of fighters will increase by 30,000.
According to him, the new recruits are in better physical shape than people the group was recruiting before and pass the fitness test on the first try.
Prigozhin also made public another conflict with Russian officials, this time with the governor of Russia’s Krasnodar region.
He said his group, which is part of Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, had bought a plot for about 700 graves in the Russian town of Goryachy Klyuch, but local authorities had been instructed to forbid Wagner from burying his fighters in the cemetery.
He also published a recording of a call in this regard, stressing that Wagner will nevertheless bury their “fellow martyr” and if the process is “obstructed” they will “take the necessary measures”.
“Wagner’s fighters are protecting the interests of Russia. They are dying for our motherland. However, some officials put the wheels in the wheels where possible.
“They don’t give orders and medals, they don’t give weapons and ammunition, they don’t allow to bury our comrades.”
“If on the territory of the largest country in the world – Russia – there is no one in two meters of soil to bury there with respect a hero who fought for the interests of the country… then what will happen to people next?” asked Prigozhin.
Previously, Prigozhin had complained that the Russian Ministry of Defense and military commanders did not authorize ammunition for Wagner because of the formal “non-existence”.