Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has revealed outlandish plans to succeed President Volodomyr Zelensky as the leader of Ukraine. The founder and leader of the Wagner Group mercenaries made the bizarre claim during a video message purportedly on the frontline of the war in Ukraine. He is seen standing on the rooftop of a high-rise building in what he claims is Bakhmut.
Gunfire and exploding bombs can be heard in the background of the video.
Wagner has been leading the offensive in Bakhmut, which has become the longest and bloodiest fight of Russia’s year-long assault.
The mercenary boss, clad in military gear, opened the video by stating he had “political ambitions” for next year, adding: “I have decided to run for president in 2024.”
In a bizarre tongue-in-cheek twist, he paused momentarily before adding: “President of Ukraine.”
JUST IN: Four Ukrainians detail ‘insane fear’ surviving in terrifying warzone
However, the claim appeared to be another dig at the Russian defence ministry as his demands for more ammunition go ignored in Moscow.
He suggested that if he was to beat President Zelensky in a presidential race, “then everything will be fine and ammunition will not be needed”.
Mr Prigozhin is embroiled in a bitter row with the defense ministers and has criticized the way in which Russia‘s invasion has been handled.
He has repeatedly accused Russia‘s top military brass of deliberately cutting supplies of ammunition to his troops.
He claimed his forces needed 10,000 tonnes of ammunition each month for the battle.
Mr Prigozhin also again mocked Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.
He sarcastically praised them as “outstanding military commanders” and said Russia’s greatest military leaders – Georgy Zhukov and Alexander Suvorov – “could have learned from them”.
Mr Prigozhin also announced that Wagner recruitment centers have opened in 42 Russian cities, in a move thought to bolster his political power.