The founder of the Russian private mercenary company Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that the “special military operation”, as the Kremlin calls the war, launched by Russia did not even have the results that Moscow hoped for and that Putin talked about at the beginning. resulting in Ukraine becoming known around the world and the army one of the strongest armies in the world.

In his 77-minute interview with Russian political adviser Konstantin Dolgov, Prigozhin among others does not mention Putin, but as usual attacks the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the rest of the Russian elite.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

“We brazenly arrived, (in Ukraine), we went with our boots all over its territory looking for Nazis. While we were looking for the Nazis, we did terrible things to everyone we could, then we got to Kiev, then as I say in Russian we got lost and left, Then we got to Kherson. We lost, we left. After it or before it? The times are already getting confused, Izium, Krasni Liman. And somehow something is wrong.”

“The special military operation was done for de-Nazification and demilitarization. In this way, the pan-Naziization of Ukraine that we were talking about, we made Ukraine a nation, which became known all over the world…Ukraine became a country that is known everywhere. This is about de-Nazification. Now as for demilitarization…”

“If they (the Ukrainians) had 500 conventional tanks at the beginning of the special operation, now they have 5,000. If at the beginning 20,000 people knew how to fight, now 400,000 know. So how did we demilitarize it? Turns out the opposite happened, hell knows we militarized her…”

“I think that the Ukrainians today are one of the strongest armies. They have a high level of organization, a high level of preparation, a high level of espionage, they have different types of equipment and much more, they operate any systems, Soviet, NATO, whatever, with equal success.

Prigozhin in his interview points out that Russia’s erroneous actions played a role in strengthening Ukraine’s military potential. The founder of Wagner and a businessman, estimates that “everything can end like in 1917 (with a civil war) and the Russian soldiers may revolt first and then their relatives”.

“There are now tens of thousands of relatives of dead soldiers. There will probably be hundreds of thousands. We cannot hide this,” he said, calling on Russian generals to send their children to the front.

In Pirgozin’s view, Russia needs martial law, new waves of conscription and to live for some years “like North Korea”. Commenting on Wagner’s involvement in the war against Ukraine, Prigozhin reported that 20,000 Wagner mercenaries had been killed since the beginning of the invasion, half of whom were prison inmates. According to him, a total of 50,000 people joined Wagner’s ranks.

According to the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, by the end of February Russia had lost 60,000 men including mercenaries. The US National Security Council estimated Wagner’s losses from the beginning of the war to mid-February of this year at 30,000 (dead and wounded).

Prigozhin was interviewed by Konstantin Dolgov, a former pro-Russian activist and political analyst from Kharkiv. According to BBC Russian policy experts, Dolgov left Ukraine after 2014 and settled in Russia, where for a long time he worked with Vladislav Surkov’s team, which dealt with the Minsk Agreements. When Surkov was removed from these duties, Dolgov moved to the analyst team under the supervision of Sergei Kiriyenko, who is currently the deputy head of the Russian presidency. The appearance of Dolgov, in the capacity of interviewing journalist, according to BBC observers, may mean that the information about the conflict between Kiriyenko and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, which was reported by Igor Strelkov, is true ( known as Girkin, and one of the state actors and activist of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, who was found guilty by the Hague Regional Court of the downing of the Malaysian Boeing and the killing of 298 passengers).