The mysterious Wagner Group is reportedly set to refocus efforts away from Ukraine amid an ongoing dispute with Vladimir Putin. Yevgeny Prigozhin – who some have tipped to be Putin’s likely replacement should he be removed from the Kremlin – will be focusing his mercenary group’s attention on Africa instead.

Prigozhin has repeatedly accused Moscow of withholding the supply of ammunition and manpower he says is necessary to carry out its objectives in Ukraine.

Some Western analysts argue this may be due to Russia‘s defence minister attempting to limit Prigozhin’s political influence, as critics of Putin become increasingly difficult for the tyrant to ignore. Even those who approve of his invasion of Ukraine are reportedly reconsidering their support for the despot as he fails to gain any serious ground.

Reports of Russia slowing its supply of equipment to the mercenary group has been corroborated by Western officials.

Russia‘s inability to gain any notable footholds in Ukraine without losing a massive amount of resources and men in the process is also true for the Wagner Group, which has been spearheading the siege of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

The private mercenary group is said to have lost tens of thousands of men in its attempts to take the city, which has proven to be the longest and costliest battle of the war.

Their numbers are mainly made up of former convicts recruited out of Russian prisons.

According to Bloomberg, Prigozhin has been prompted by this to refocus on Africa.

A recruitment notice posted earlier this week invited applicants to come forward for a six-month stint in Ukraine or nine to 14 months in Africa.

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In Africa, Wagner is contracted to protect mines and offer governments security services.

The fall in military capability available to Russia as a result will doubtless cause concern for Putin – not least because Ukraine recently claimed they would be able to launch a counterassault against the invaders around Bakhmut.

Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine‘s ground forces, said: “The attacker has not lost hope of taking Bakhmut at all costs, despite the losses of men and equipment, very soon we will take advantage of this opportunity, as we did near Kyiv, Kharkiv, Balakliya and Kupiansk.”

The mercenary group are understood to have recruited 40,000 convicts, half of which have been either killed or wounded in the ongoing siege.

Prigozhin has denied reports that his forces will be refocusing on Africa.

He wrote on Telegram: “It seems that Bloomberg knows better than we do what we are going to do. As long as our country needs us, we will remain fighting in Ukraine.”

If accurate, it would not be the first humiliation for the Wagner Group in Ukraine, as Prigozhin earlier admitted to having to “cut down and resize” the force amid the mass casualties of the siege of Donetsk.

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.