| 22 April 2024, Monday |

Zelensky claims Ukraine killed 21,000 Wagner fighters; and ‘entire world wants to kill’ Vladimir Putin

Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, asserted that his country has eliminated a minimum of 21,000 Wagner fighters and left 80,000 others injured to date. However, Zelensky did not present any substantiating evidence for his statement.
Zelensky’s comment comes a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin witnessed a major challenge to his authority as Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin launched a mutiny against the military leadership in Moscow.

Zelensky was speaking during a press conference with a Spanish media portal, Zelensky said that the “private military company has suffered enormous losses, particularly in Eastern Ukraine”, CNN reported.

Zelensky described the Wagner fighters as “mostly convicts who had nothing to lose”, and were recruited as akin to “motivated staff of the Russian army”.

Entire world wants to kill Putin: Zelensky
“Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rebellion has greatly affected Russian power on the battlefield and could be beneficial to Ukraine’s counteroffensive…We need to take advantage of this situation to push the enemy out of our land,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky said that the “entire world wants to kill him (Putin)”.

“It’s more dangerous for Putin. Only in Russia that they want to kill me, whereas the entire world wants to kill him,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky afraid of losing support for war from US republicans
Zelensky also expressed fears of losing bipartisan support from the United States, and cited “dangerous messages coming from some Republicans.”

“We have bipartisan support however there are different messages in their circles regarding support for Ukraine. There are messages coming from some Republicans, sometimes dangerous messages, that there may be less support,” Zelensky said.

“The most important thing for Ukraine is not to lose bipartisan support,” he added.

On June 29, Russia’s Wagner mercenary group’s rebellion against military leadership in Moscow lasted for a little less than 36 hours. It ended after Belarus brokered a peace deal, following which the Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin — also a former chef to President Vladimir Putin — announced that he was pulling his troops back to their bases.

Wagner chief and some of his forces arrived in Belarus after President Vladimir Putin gave the fighters three options: sign contracts with the Russian defence ministry, return to civilian life or go into exile in Belarus.

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