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19 June, 2024
 
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Wagner leader offered Russian troop locations to Ukrainians in exchange for mercy

Leaked documents revealed

Source: Business Insider

In an apparent escalation of Yevgeny Prigozhin's public feud with Vladimir Putin over his for-hire army, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group offered to sell out the locations of Russian troops to Ukrainian officials in exchange for their mercy on the battlefield, according to leaked intelligence documents.

The Washington Post reported that US military intelligence documents allegedly shared on a Discord server by Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old airman at a National Guard unit in Massachusetts, included a briefing on a January meeting between Prigozhin and unnamed Ukrainian officials where the Wagner leader made his desperate offer.

In exchange for Ukrainians pulling back from the front lines of battle in Bakhmut, where Wagner mercenaries have faced heavy losses that Prigozhin blames on Putin's lack of support and supplies, Prigozhin would reveal the locations of Russian troops and stand by as Ukraine attacked.

Some versions of the leaked documents circulating online have been edited, Insider previously reported, but two anonymous Ukrainian officials confirmed to WaPo that Prigozhin has spoken to Ukrainian intelligence officers on multiple occasions. One official indicated Prigozhin had made the offer regarding Bakhmut more than once but Kyiv leaders, skeptical of his objectives, declined.

The document does not specify which Russian troop positions Prigozhin offered to reveal, WaPo reported, and US officials similarly cast doubt on the Wagner leader's intentions. Still, multiple high-level Russian military commanders have been killed near Bakhmut in recent weeks.

Prigozhin, who has increasingly criticized Putin for not supplying his troops with enough ammo, vowed earlier this month to pull his troops from the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the site of one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Russian invasion.

Hours after his announcement, Russia launched a massive incendiary attack on the Ukrainian city using apparent chemical weapons, Insider previously reported.

Representatives for the Pentagon, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense, and the Government of the Russian Federation did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

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