May 16, 2023

Where's the Ammunition?


Where's the Ammunition?
Wagner Group plot in the Chervyshev cemetery. Tyumen, Russia. Wikimedia Commons.

Following a threat on May 5 to pull his forces out of Bakhmut due to a lack of ammunition, Wagner Private Military Company (PMC) head Yevgeny Prigozhin reported that the Russian Ministry of Defense promised him "as much ammunition and weapons as we need" to continue operations there.

Al Jazeera reported that, in an audio message posted to Telegram on May 7, Prigozhin said he has "been promised as much ammunition and weapons as we need to continue further operations. We have been promised that everything needed to prevent the enemy from cutting us off will be deployed."

On May 5, Prigozhin appeared in a video, standing in a field of corpses, and blasted Russian defense leaders for a lack of assistance and resources. He claimed that Wagner was 70% short on the ammunition it needed and asked angrily, "Shoigu, Gerasimov, where the f*** is the ammunition?" He complained of the defense ministers' incompetence, saying that his men "came here as volunteers and are dying so that we can live in our mahogany offices." He said that pulling out of Bakhmut was required within five days – by May 10 – to prevent unacceptable losses.

The May 5 video was later lampooned by independent journalist Dmitry Kolezev, who noted that "to make them stop dying, you just have to stop sending them there."

Prigozhin's older video appears to be part of a wider tension with Russian military leaders. One day prior, on May 4, he warned against the use of nuclear weapons, a threat repeatedly postulated by Putin, stating that "we will look like clowns" if nuclear weapons are used in response to the recent Kremlin drone incident.

The threat of abandoning Bakhmut was particularly contentious on the Russian side, not only because, as The Hill reports, "Bakhmut is a strategic point in the Donetsk region and the wider eastern Donbas, which Russia has looked to seize this spring," but also because May 10 was the day after Victory Day, the major Russian holiday celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany.

You Might Also Like

Violence Comes Home, Too
  • April 22, 2023

Violence Comes Home, Too

A man from Nizhny Novgorod fought in Ukraine. When he returned to Russia, he killed his wife.
The Wizard and His Little Wagners
  • March 09, 2023

The Wizard and His Little Wagners

The Wagner Group's new youth club sponsors pro-militaristic activities and suggests it undertakes recruitment by hypnosis.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
At the Circus (bilingual)

At the Circus (bilingual)

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Bilingual series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be unnecessarily one-sided. 
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
Russian Rules

Russian Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
Turgenev Bilingual

Turgenev Bilingual

A sampling of Ivan Turgenev's masterful short stories, plays, novellas and novels. Bilingual, with English and accented Russian texts running side by side on adjoining pages.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955