In an abrupt turnaround from yesterday, the leader of Wagner PMC Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has said his mercenary forces have been promised the necessary supply of weapons and ammunition need. He said it was the “first time in all this time” that they had received such a combat order that promised to provide “as much as we need to continue further actions”. This came after on May 5th and 6th Prigozhin has said Wagner would leave Bakhmut on May 10th due to lack of logistic supply from Russian Armed Forces, planning to rotate his troops seemingly with those of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov who leads Akhmat Battalion. However, it now seems those plans have changed yet again after Prigozhin released audio clips this morning.
Prigozhin continues in the audio published today: “They swear to us that everything will be put up on the flank so that the enemy does not cut us off, they tell us that we can act in Artemovsk (Bakhmut) as we see fit, and they give us deputy commander of the united group of troops Sergey Surovikin as a person who will make all decisions in the framework of the military operations of PMC “Wagner” in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense,” Source: t.me /concordgroup_official/912 – translation from Kommersant. This mediation between Prigozhin and the Russian MOD, maintained by Surovikin, likely means the extension of Wagner PMC fighting on the frontlines, although if it remains at Bakhmut was not specified.
It is unclear at this time what exactly is going to happen with Kadyrov’s troops that were apparently heading to Bakhmut to replace Wagner forces. It is possible they could reinforce them, filling in gaps in the frontline, and giving short respites to weary and worn Wagner fighters, as well as bringing weapons and vehicles to supply. The details or plans for this are obfuscated and have not been clearly outlined by anyone. It does seem, however, based on recent limited VDV movements around the flanks of Bakhmut, Russian Armed Forces are resuming some responsibility for the offensive on the city while Wagner remains in a limbo state.