“Join Wagner”… O Yevgeny Prigozhin released … epic ad and calls for new volunteers for the front in Ukraine, in the wake of his “explosion” of many dead mercenaries due to a lack of ammunition and his statements about a “mincer” … In the ad, Prigozhin appears and men of him with full equipment, while the video shows… sparks. The video concludes with contact numbers for recruitment.

The Russian mercenary paramilitary organization Wagner plans to recruit approx 30,000 new fighters by mid-May, its founder said in mid-March, but since then it has suffered even more losses in the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut

The group’s men have suffered heavy casualties while leading Russian efforts to seize the Ukrainian city, which has been resisting since last summer in the longest and bloodiest battle of Ukraine’s war.

Prigozhin, who has repeatedly accused Russia’s regular armed forces of not adequately supporting his paramilitary group, said on Tuesday that the Russian brigade had abandoned its positions. “Our army is fleeing (…) I lost about 500 men,” Prigozhin said.

In January the US estimated that Wagner has approx 50,000 fighters in Ukraine, among them 40,000 convicts whom Prigozhin recruited from Russian prisons with the promise of a pardon if they survived six months.

Ukrainian officials claimed at the time that some 30,000 of the group’s fighters had deserted, been killed or wounded – a number that could not be ascertained.