Vladimir Putin's 'chef' says his mercenaries 'will take Bakhmut anyway' despite Kremlin's 'envy'
Annual Direct Line with Vladimir Putin in Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual "Direct Line with Vladimir Putin" live call-in show. - -/Kremlin/dpa

Russian oligarch, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said during an interview Wednesday he believes the Kremlin government is jealous of his far-right private military company (PMC), Wagner Group, The Daily Beast reports.

Per The Daily Beast, Prigozhin is "accusing Kremlin officials of deliberately preventing his fighters capturing Bakhmut out of sheer jealousy at his military successes," and "choosing to deprive Wagner of ammunition which has slowed progress" in the fight.

Earlier this month, The Daily Beast reported:

Bakhmut, a city in the Donetsk region that had a pre-war population of around 70,000, is all but destroyed after more than six months of Russian attacks. Although the town has some strategic significance, its greater value for Prigozhin appears to lie in his desire to be the one who delivers President Vladimir Putin a rare victory.

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"The objective is simple," Prigozhin said. "PMC Wagner should not take Bakhmut."

Regarding Kremlin's jealousy, Prigozhin said, "Our actions today of course cause envy. So because we have successes, while in other places successes are not what they’d like to be, then instead of—remember what grandpa Lenin said: we all thought we were all meant to live well, but instead, they made it so that everyone lived the same but poorly."

The Daily Beast reports:

On Thursday, Russia's puppet leader in the Donetsk region Denis Pushilin told state media agency TASS that the situation in Bakhmut 'remains complicated, difficult,' and that he did not 'see that there are any prerequisites there that the enemy is going to simply withdraw units.'

Wagner's mercenary chief complained "about being deprived access to military phones," according to The Daily Beast.

"Leave me the phone! Set wiretapping on it," Prigozhin said. "Know what I'm talking about, and call me sometimes and say: 'Prigozhin, you're a c*nt, go f**k yourself,' and hang up. At least like this. What's the point of cutting it?"

CNN reports:

Many analysts think [Prigozhin's] suspicions are well-founded – that Russia's military establishment is using the Bakhmut 'meat-grinder' to cut him down to size or eliminate him as a political force altogether.

Still, the mercenary head asserted, "Wagner will take Bakhmut anyway, 'not because Prigozhin wants it,' but: 'B**ch, we must prove to the whole world that the Russians can!'"