Prigozhin said the AFU had not bombed Donbas for eight years and blasted Shoigu for lying. Video

Wagner owner says Russian army has lost combat effectiveness after Shoigu's arrival

The Ukrainian armed forces have not shelled Donbas for eight years, as Russian propaganda and the Russian military leadership have been screaming about. The Ukrainians held back the Russian occupying forces by firing back at them.

Nor was there any aggravation in the east on the eve of a full-scale Russian invasion, the aggression was in fact launched by Russia for completely different reasons. Yevgeny Prigozhin , the owner of the Russian PMC Wagner, stated this.

He publicly acknowledged the fact, which is flatly denied by the Russian propaganda and its victims from among the average Russians.

"On why the special operation started. The Ukrainians had a grouping along the border with the Donbas, just the one we were breaking through from Popasna to Artemivsk. This grouping consisted of various voluntary nationalist formations as well as the active army, the AFU. This grouping exchanged gunfire. We were hitting them, they were hitting us. And this was happening all these long 8 years, from 2014 to 2022. Sometimes the number of different exchanges of fire, roughly speaking, exchange of ammunition, exchange of shots increased. Sometimes it went down," Prigozhin said.

He also stressed that on the eve of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February, there was no question of any escalation and preparation of Ukraine's attack on Russia.

"As of February 24, there was nothing extraordinary. Now the Ministry of Defence is already trying to deceive the public, to deceive the president and tell the story that there was insane aggression from Ukraine and they were going to attack us with the entire NATO bloc. The so-called February 24 special operation - it was launched for completely different reasons," Prigozhin said, adding that preparations for the invasion were carried out in secrecy.

The leader of the Wagnerians admitted that the Russian army has degraded rapidly since Sergei Shoygu joined the Russian Defence Ministry - and the invasion of Ukraine was launched by a completely non-competitive cadre of troops.

"Now about the army. Starting from 2012... It started earlier, with Serdyukov, but since 2012, when Shoigu got there, the army has been doing nothing. Each conscript was given 3 rounds of ammunition, like in the worst Soviet times, although there wasn't even such a thing in Soviet times. They were not engaged in combat training. They were not trained in different kinds of weapons, especially modern ones. And so in Russia, the army was in such a flawed state that it could not conduct any full-scale combat operations," said Prigozhin.

The Russian oligarch could not refrain from kicking the "second army of the world" once again and recalling how "heroic" the occupiers had been in Syria.

"Disgraceful campaigns such as the Syrian campaign, where the PMCs performed the main task, while the army was flying by planes, absolutely shameful and boorish things that they did in Syria, such as crossing the borders of neighboring countries by planes, about which all the commanders warned Shoigu and Gerasimov many times, they did not give the army any combat experience. A huge number of generals have adorned themselves, like a Christmas tree, with the stars of a hero of the Russian Federation. Most of whom never went anywhere. A Hero of Russia was given simply for the fact that once on a comfortable plane with a leather interior and a polished table the general flew from Moscow to Heimim and back again. For this he received a star of the Russian Federation as a hero. The title was actually discredited, it was destroyed," Prigozhin said.

In his opinion, over the past decade, the Russian army has degenerated into a collection of "clowns," where honors were awarded to those who most zealously pleased Shoigu and his entourage.

"The clowns who went around all day licking the asses of the defense minister and his entourage, they received the following military ranks, all honors and awards. The soldier under Shoigu has ceased to exist as a being who can say a word, whose opinion can be heard. That is why absolutely no training in the army, no management, no weapons and many other factors met the Russian army on February 24, 2022," Prigozhin said.

We shall remind you that earlier, Prigozhin accused the Russian Defence Ministry of holding back the real situation in southern Ukraine. He said that the AFU's successes on the battlefield were much more impressive than Ukraine officially admits. According to Prigozhin, the AFU is already at Tokmak, and the Russian army has losses as high as 60%.

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