The public conflict of the head of PMC Wagner Eugene Prigozhin and the Defense Ministry of Russia seems to be heating up amid the developing operation to liberate the town of Bakhmut (also known as Artemovsk) in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

In recently published audio messages, Prigozhin directly accuses top officials of the Defense Ministry in not providing enough ammunition and logistical assistance to PMC Wagner fighters involved in the battle of Bakhmut.

The translation of the 1st audio message:

As for the supply of ammunition to the Wagner PMC, – Akhmat, some other units have shared what they could. Generals who are around the leadership of the Russian military grouping sign documents for which afterwards they can be put in a jail cell by the Military Prosecutor’s Office, just to provide us [PMC Wagner] with ammunition, which we get directly from the wheels. At the same time, the Chief of General Staff and the Minister of Defense are giving orders to not only stop providing PMC Wagner with ammunition, but not even help us with air transport. Now I received information that they had even cancelled distribution of sapper shovel, so the guys could entrench themselves up. There is simply a direct opposition, which is called nothing else but an attempt to eliminate the Wagner PMC. This can be considered equal to treason against the Motherland. This comes at a time when the Wagner PMC is fighting for Bakhmut, losing hundreds of its fighters every day.

The translation of the 2nd audio message:

The Wagner PMC is not provided with ammunition. Why do other units also have a constant shortage of ammunition? Because a bunch of military functionaries decided that it is their country, it is their people. They decided that people will die when it suits them, when they would like. So instead of doing their duty and giving as much ammunition as we need, say, – keep it +20%, just don’t make any more fuss.  They sit giggling in their offices and try to spin intrigue, call up telegram channels and say, – don’t publish Prigozhin [statements] or [if you publish] write that he eats this ammunition or sells to Americans or something like that. I have no options, I go all the way, I have people dying by the dozen because some strange persons made the decision to let them live or not live. This is not a revolutionary call, this is a demand to provide us with ammunition! I can no longer write various statements and appeals on paper, no one reads them!

This is not the first time when Prigozhin makes critical statements towards representatives of the defense ministry. Since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Prigozhin has repeatedly criticized actions of Russian military officials.