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    HomeWorldRifts in Russian Military Command Seen Amid Ukraine Fighting

    Rifts in Russian Military Command Seen Amid Ukraine Fighting

    Rifts in Russian Military Command Seen Amid Ukraine Fighting

    As Russian troops wage a ferocious house-to-house fight for control of strongholds in eastern , a parallel battle is unfolding in the top echelons of military in , with President Vladimir Putin reshuffling his top generals while rival camps try to win his favor.

    The fighting for the salt mining town of Soledar and the nearby city of Bakhmut has highlighted a bitter rift between the Russian Defense Ministry leadership and Yevgeny Prigozhin, a rogue millionaire whose private military known as the Wagner Group has played an increasingly visible role in Ukraine.

    Putin's shakeup of the military brass this week was seen as a bid to show that the Defense Ministry still has his support and is in charge as the troubled conflict nears the 11-month mark.

    Prigozhin rushed Wednesday to declare that his mercenary force had captured Soledar, a claim rejected by Ukrainian officials. Furthermore, his statement that the prize was won exclusively by Wagner challenged the accounts from the Defense Ministry, which described action by airborne troops and other forces in the battle for Soledar.

    The 61-year-old Prigozhin, who was known as “Putin's chef” for his lucrative catering contracts and was indicted in the U.S. for meddling in the 2016 presidential election, has expanded his assets to include Wagner, as well as mining and other spheres. He has scathingly criticized the military brass for blunders in…

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