Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of PMC Wagner, said in an interview that his company recruited as many as 50,000 prisoners, of which 20 percent were killed in battles. The losses among contracted forces were similar, he said. As for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, they lost as many as 50,000 soldiers.
PMC Wagner units lost about 20,000 people in battles for Artemovsk (Bakhmut). Half of those fighters were hired from prisons, Yevgeny Prigozhin said in an interview with media technologist Konstantin Dolgov.
PMC Wagner recruited 50,000 prisoners, Prigozhin said. As many as 35,000 Wagner fighters were involved in battles for Bakhmut along with contracted soldiers.
"During the operation, I picked 50,000 prisoners, of which about 20 percent were killed. The number of losses among prison inmates was identical to the number of losses among those whom we hired as contracted fighters," said Prigozhin.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine lost 50,000 soldiers in killed, another 50-70 thousand were injured, he added.
It is worthy of note that there was no official confirmation to what Prigozhin said about Ukraine's losses in battles for Bakhmut (Artemovsk).
On May 20, Prigozhin announced that the Russian forces took Bakhmut under total control. He also said that PMC Wagner fighters would scour the city, create defense lines and "hand it all over to the military so that they would continue working."
From that day on, the PMC will withdraw its units from the area "for rest and retraining," Prigozhin said.
The Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed reports about the capture of Bakhmut the following day. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Ukrainian military were still staying in the city. Prigozhin denied that information.
In December 2022, the adviser to the head of the presidential office, Mikhail Podolyak, said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine had lost from 10,000 to 13,000 in nine months of hostilities.
In September 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defence estimated the losses of the Ukrainian army at more than 100,000 — over 61,000 in killed and over 49,000 in wounded.
Russia announced its losses last in September. According to the Defence Ministry, the Russian forces had then lost 5,937 people.
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Satellite images of the destroyed headquarters of the Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry appeared on the Internet