Putin Ally Yevgenii Prigozhin
Russian billionaire and businessman, Concord catering company owner Yevgeny Prigozhin Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images


  • The Wagner group has posted recruitment notices offering deployments to African countries
  • Prigozhin previously accused the Russian defense ministry of starving his group of ammunition
  • A report said the Russian military is using the fighting in Bakhmut to reduce Wagner group's ranks

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russia's infamous Wagner private military company (PMC), could pull his troops out of the war in Ukraine and shift their focus elsewhere amid an ongoing dispute with the Russian military, according to a report.

Prigozhin may turn his focus back to countries in Africa, specifically in places where his fighters are believed to have a presence, including Sudan, Mali and the Central African Republic, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The outlet also noted that the Prigozhin might be signaling a shift after the group posted a recruitment notice offering deployments to African countries. The service would last between nine to 14 months.

The alleged shift may be connected to the recent rift between the Wagner group and the Russian Ministry of Defense. Prigozhin claimed that the ministry was cutting ammunition supplies to his men and blocking the group from recruiting more prisoners from Russian penal colonies to fill its ranks.

"This is exactly the problem with ammunition hunger. Regular fighters, they will come and say, 'Boss, could it be that this story is being played up somewhere deep in the Defense Ministry, or maybe higher, in order to explain to the Russian people why we ended up in this trouble? What if they want to set us up and say we are villains, and that's why we aren't given ammo and weapons and allowed to reinforce personnel, including convicts?'" Prigozhin said in a video earlier this month.

Last week, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said Russia's defense ministry is using the battle in the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut to reduce the Wagner group's numbers and, in turn, weaken Prigozhin's ambition to have greater influence in the Kremlin.

The tension has also spilled over into the public eye, with Prigozhin accusing the defense minister of taking credit for their victories when the latter said its troops had successfully taken over Soledar.

The Wagner group has been operating in the shadows for years and only stepped into the spotlight after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The group has taken a leading role in the fight to take over Bakhmut, suffering from heavy losses and casualties in the process.

Once a secretive mercenary leader, Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin now operates openly, posting messages from inside Ukraine as part of Russia's invasion force