War in Ukraine: Wagner chief announces plans to recruit 30,000 fighters by mid-May


chief Ros. Wagner private military group Evgeny Prigozhin announced on Saturday that it plans to recruit about 30,000 new fighters by mid-May, according to a voice message posted on Telegram.

Prigozhin also claimed that Wagner recruited an average of 500 to 800 people a day, and sometimes up to 1,200 people a day.

“Perhaps after some time this number of recruits may decrease; however, by mid-May, we plan that the number of fighters of the unit will increase by about 30 thousand people, ”Prigozhin said in an audio message.

Wagner is a hired company run by Prigozhin, who has been very visible on the front lines in recent months and has always been quick to take credit for Russia’s achievements.

The group is known for their harsh and brutal tactics, and for having little regard for the lives of their soldiers. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling described his tactics in eastern Ukraine as “feeding meat to a meat grinder.”

Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin delivers a video message outside of Bakhmut, Ukraine, in March.

Prigozhin said last week that Wagner had opened recruitment in 42 Russian cities.

Wagner focused on recruiting mercenaries from sports clubs, boxing gyms, and other gyms, as well as men who had previously completed six-month contracts and could be rehired. Wagner also recruited a small number of foreign fighters.

CNN previously reported that Wagner said this stopped recruiting from prisons in January. The prison recruitment campaign was widely publicized and widely disseminated, with 40,000 fighters recruited to Wagner’s cause last year.

But many of the private military group’s recruits were killed or wounded in the fierce fighting around the town of Bakhmut, where months of fighting went on.

The fact that the group is looking for tens of thousands of new fighters suggests that it has suffered heavy losses during the conflict.

Earlier this month, Prigozhin acknowledged that the situation in Bahmut it was “difficult, very difficult, when the enemies fought each other for every meter.”

Although Wagner made gradual gains in Bakhmut and now holds the eastern part of the city, it came at a huge cost. Prigozhin called for regular Russian troops to be supported and for a more reliable flow of ammunition, but neither was forthcoming. He accused the Russian Defense Ministry of trying to strangle his forces.

Ukrainian military intelligence report obtained by CNN, detailed the ruthless tactics used by Wagner. A December 2022 report concluded that “the deaths of thousands of Wagner soldiers are of no importance to Russian society.”

In January, a former Wagner mercenary said the brutality he witnessed in Ukraine was ultimately pushed him to failurein an exclusive interview with CNN.