The head of Russian mercenary group Wagner appeared today to abandon plans to withdraw his forces from the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraineafter receiving promises during the night that he would receive all the ammunition and weapons he needed in order to capture the city.

Yevgeny Prigozhin announced last Friday that his fighters, who are leading the months-long offensive in Bakhmut, they would withdraw because as he said his men do not have enough ammunition and suffer “unprofitable and unjustifiable” losses as a result.

Prigozhin, who has publicly mocked Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the military leadership over their handling of the war in Ukraine, said officers in Moscow consumed by “petty jealousies” were withholding critical supplies for his men.

However, in an audio message posted on his Telegram channel today, Prigozhin said: “During the night we received an order to fight, for the first time all this time.”

“We have been promised as much ammunition and weapons as we need to continue operations. We were promised that everything necessary to prevent the enemy from cutting us off (from supplies) would be deployed on our side.”

The battle for Bakhmut, which Russia sees as a stepping stone to other cities in Ukraine’s Donbass region that still escape its control, is the fiercest of the conflict, costing thousands of lives on both sides.

Ukrainian troops have been pushed back in recent weeks, but are holding tight to the city to inflict as many Russian casualties as they can before Kiev’s planned offensive against the invader’s forces along 1,000 km of the front line.

Prigozhin also said today that Russia’s Defense Ministry has assigned General Sergei Surovikin to work alongside Wagner.

“He’s the only male star general who knows how to fight,” he added.

Surovikin was the commander of Russia’s campaign in Ukraine for several months before the chief of the general staff, General Valery Gerasimov, was given overall operational command over him.