The National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby, announced estimated casualty numbers for the Russian private military company Wagner Group. It is believed that Wagner has suffered more than 30,000 casualties with roughly 9,000 of those being deaths.
Wagner, run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, has seen action as one of the main combat arms during the frontline fighting in Ukraine and has played a major role in nearly every major battle, including the intense fighting for the city of Bakhmut currently ongoing in Eastern Ukraine, in the Donetsk Oblast. Prigozhin claims Bakhmut will be surrounded and fall to Russia within weeks.
Wagner group has gained notoriety for their brutality and prowess during fighting, recording and widely promoting their execution of prisoners and deserters alike, often times with a sledgehammer, for which they’ve become known for during their combat missions in Syria against the Islamic State.
A recent report from the United Kingdom Defense Ministry suggests Wagner’s recent tactic of recruiting Russian prisoners has seen a casualty rate of about 50%. However, the company have recently announced they will reduce the number of fighters deployed in Ukraine and have put a halt entirely to its practice of recruiting detainees from Russia’s prisons to send to the front lines.
There is a current push by some in the United States Congress to designate Wagner Group as a terrorist organization.