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Wagner, the Russian personal army firm, posted a video on Telegram Thursday night instantly disparaging the Russian protection ministry’s declare that common Russian army forces have participated within the assault on Soledar.

A day after Russia’s protection ministry reshuffled the command of its so-called “particular army operation,” Wagner’s publish doubled down on the assertion by boss Yevgeny Prigozhin that his forces alone are liable for the Soledar operation, instantly contradicting the ministry.

The video exhibits two males, faces obscured, sporting fatigues and standing in what appears to be an underground bunker, illuminated by flashlight.

“We’re officers of the Airborne Forces, we declare that the Airborne Forces didn’t participate within the assault on the town of Soledar,” one man says. “The assault on the town of Soledar was carried out solely by the forces of PMC Wagner. We weren’t even despatched in that course.”

CNN is unable to confirm the boys’s id or the veracity of their assertion, however it’s important that Wagner posted it in any respect as competing claims over which Russian forces are liable for the assault in jap Ukraine has turn into a key level of competition within the machinations of Russia’s energy construction.

Some context: On Wednesday Russia’s protection ministry stated that common Russian forces had been working in and round Soledar, with out mentioning Wagner.

“Airborne Troops have blocked Soledar from the northern and southern elements of the town,” the ministry said on its official Telegram channel. “The Russian Aerospace Forces strike at enemy strongholds. Assault squads are combating within the metropolis.”

However Prigozhin referred to as any declare that non-Wagner Russian forces have participated within the Soledar assault “pretend data.”

“I wish to emphasize that Soledar was taken completely by Wagner PMC items,” he stated in a press release revealed on a Wagner Telegram channel on Monday.

The Ukrainian army insisted Thursday that the city continues to be contested, and that its forces had been even “conducting counterattacks” within the settlement.

Some pro-Kremlin Russian army bloggers have speculated that the Russian protection ministry’s announcement Wednesday of Valery Gerasimov because the commander of its “particular army operation” was motivated partially by Wagner’s success.

In a go to to his forces close to Bakhmut over New Yr’s Eve, Prigozhin instantly castigated Kremlin bureaucrats.

“This yr we are going to win! However first we are going to conquer our inside forms and corruption,” Prigozhin instructed his fighters in a video posted to Telegram.

“As soon as we conquer our inside forms and corruption, then we are going to conquer the Ukrainians and NATO, after which the entire world.”

“The issue now’s that the bureaucrats and people partaking in corruption gained’t take heed to us as a result of for New Yr’s they’re all ingesting champagne.”

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