May 25 (Reuters) – Its founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said in a video posted on Thursday that the Russian mercenary group Wagner has begun to withdraw its forces from the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and transfer its positions there to the regular Russian forces.
“We are withdrawing units from Bakhmut. From today, at five in the morning of May 25 until June 1, most of the units will be repositioned in the camps in the rear. We are handing over our positions to the army,” he said.
The video, posted on Telegram by his press service, showed Prigozhin in combat gear and standing next to a war-damaged apartment building.
Prigozhin announced Bakhmut’s capture on Saturday after the longest and bloodiest battle of the war.
In the latest video, Prigozhin, who has repeatedly expressed public criticism of top Russian defense officials, said his forces would be ready to return to Bakhmut if the regular army was unable to manage the situation.
(Reuters report, written by Mark Trevelyan)
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