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War in Ukraine – Bakhmut. White House: Yevgeny Prigozhin plans to take control of gypsum and salt mines

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According to the White House, a close associate of Vladimir Putin and founder of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, plans to take control of the gypsum and salt mines near Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

There are indications that financial motives drive obsession Russia and Prigozhin on Bakhmut, an unnamed senior White House official said on Thursday, quoted by Reuters.

United States have previously accused Russian mercenaries of exploiting natural resources in the Central African Republic, littleSudan and elsewhere in the world to finance the Russian war against Ukraine.

Situation in Bakhmut (08/12/2022)PAP/Eugene Titov

Large losses among the Wagnerians in Ukraine

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An official quoted by Reuters also said that of the 50,000 Wagnerians, more than 4,000 were killed and 10,000 injured. Only at the turn of November and December last year, over a thousand mercenaries from the Wagner group were killed near Bakhmut.

The growing role of the group is evidenced by, among others, receiving weapons from North Korea, as reported by the White House in late December.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, archival photoMikhail Metzel / TASS / Forum

Russian forces have been trying to take Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast since August. The heaviest and bloodiest military operations in Ukraine are currently taking place there.

Main photo source: PAP/Eugene Titov

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