Wagner private military group centre opens in St Petersburg


  • The Potok mercenary group said they had abandoned their positions over a lack of weapons
  • Potok claimed the Wagner group threatened to shoot them over their plan to withdraw
  • Wagner hits back, accusing Potok of desertion and throwing down their weapons

Two Russian mercenary groups are fighting each other due to continued combat losses on the Ukrainian battlefield.

Kyiv Post reported that PMC Potok, a Russian mercenary group composed of Gazprom fighters, posted a video on Wednesday stating they had abandoned their combat positions due to a lack of weapons.

Potok group had also revealed that commanders from the Wagner mercenary group, headed by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, threatened to shoot them over their withdrawal plans.

"On April 17, two positions were lost due to a lack of ammunition as a result of an attack by the Ukrainian Armed Forces," a Potok fighter said in the video.

"The Wagner PMC commanders aggressively threatened a reprisal against the personnel of PMC Potok and blocked their withdrawal and rotation to a safe zone."

The Wagner group protested Potok's claims in a video uploaded online.

The Wagner fighter, seen in the video speaking in a wooded area, accused Potok of deserting their positions and throwing down weapons.

"We had to close the holes with our own forces," the Wagner fighter said.

According to the latest war assessment of the Washington-based think tank Institute for the Study of War, the prevalence of other Russian mercenary groups around the heavily-contested Ukrainian city of Bakhmut "may be causing substantial friction."

ISW also claimed that Prigozhin had launched an information operation to undermine other Russian mercenary groups fighting in Ukraine.

In an ISW assessment dated April 24, Prigozhin criticized the existence of other mercenary groups in Bakhmut, which he has seen as Wagner's competition.

The think tank believed that Prigozhin likely regained some favor with the Kremlin following his harsh remarks against other Russian paramilitary groups.

The tension between mercenary groups came after a shootout reportedly broke out between Russian military personnel and the Wagner group last Sunday.

According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the shootout happened in the town of Stanytsia Luhanska in the temporarily Russian-controlled region of Luhansk.

The incident allegedly stemmed from Russia's inability to gain ground against Ukrainian forces, which led to casualties on both sides.

Tensions between Wagner and the Russian military began in March when Prigozhin lamented Moscow's lack of support, such as providing ammunition to sustain its foothold in Bakhmut.

Prigozhin also threatened to pull out his fighters from the war in Ukraine and deploy them to several African countries.

According to ISW, possibly half of Wagner's 50,000 fighters have been killed in the fierce fight to control the Ukrainian city.

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