Ukraine’s inaugural marine corps has been unveiled by Volodymyr Zelensky, while the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group admitted that military setbacks have allowed Kyiv to assemble “one of the most formidable armies in the world.”
In a video circulating online, Zelensky, sporting his signature khaki army attire, awarded commendations to male and female marines on the occasion of the force’s national holiday. Reflecting on his visit near Vuhledar and Maryinka in Donetsk during his nightly address, he remarked, “I bestowed state honors upon the valiant warriors and presented ribbons For Courage and Bravery to the exemplary units defending this section of the front line.”
Additionally, the president affirmed the Ukrainian government’s intention to establish a specialized marine corps, vowing to furnish them with state-of-the-art weaponry and equipment.
Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner Group, issued a stark warning that Russia’s ruling class must approach the war with utmost seriousness, or else risk facing a revolution akin to the events of 1917.
Prigozhin directed criticism once again at the military leadership, specifically naming Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the Defense Staff Valery Gerasimov, asserting that their repeated blunders had resulted in greater casualties in the battle for Bakhmut than the entirety of the ten-year conflict in Afghanistan.
Emphasizing the contrast in leadership, Prigozhin contended that the likes of Soviet leader Josef Stalin would never have tolerated such failure.
Deriding the purported objective of Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation,” he sarcastically remarked, “So, our announcement of Ukraine’s de-Nazification has inadvertently transformed it into a globally recognized nation.”
The developments underscore Ukraine’s determination to bolster its military capabilities while exposing internal concerns within Russia’s military hierarchy.
‘They are like Greeks at their peak, or Romans.’
In an interview with a prominent pro-war blogger posted on his Telegram channel, he went on: ‘We legitimised Ukraine, it became a country which is known to everyone.
‘As for de-militarisation, [this is] a painful issue indeed. So if they had at the start of it 500 tanks – now they have 5,000. If there were 20,000 men who were able to fight – now there are 400,000.
‘So how exactly did we demilitarise it? Quite the opposite! We militarised it up to the brim.
‘I think Ukrainians today are one of the world’s strongest armies. They have high levels of organisation, training, military intelligence.
‘They have various ammunition and moreover, they are able to switch between any system – Soviet, NATO, anything at all – with the same success. They take their losses philosophically.
‘All they do is to achieve the supreme goal, just like us during the Great Patriotic War [Second World War].’
Prigozhin lambasted the comfortable elites in Russia ‘shaking their arses’ in the sun while ordinary citizens get theirs back in zinc coffins, adding: ‘This divide can end as in 1917 with a revolution.
‘First the soldiers will stand up, and after that – their loved ones will rise up.
‘There are already tens of thousands of them – relatives of those killed. And there will probably be hundreds of thousands – we cannot avoid that.’
Russia needs to mobilise more men and to gear the economy exclusively to war, Prigozhin said.
He continued: ‘What must we do – not to lose Russia? Because today we are in a state when we can lose Russia.
‘We must introduce martial law. We must call new waves of mobilisation. We must switch everyone to production of weapons.
‘Stop building skyscrapers, new roads, new infrastructure – and work only for the war. We must live like in North Korea for several years, and shut the borders.’