The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Wagner chief offered to give Russian troop locations to Ukraine, leak says

By Shane Harris and Isabelle Khurshudyan

15 May 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

In late January, the head of the Wagner mercenary group secretly agreed to provide Ukrainian intelligence with information on Russian troop positions. The Post reports on the covert communications.

In late January, with his mercenary forces dying by the thousands in a fight for the ruined city of Bakhmut, Wagner Group owner Yevgeniy Prigozhin made Ukraine an extraordinary offer.

Prigozhin said that if Ukraine's commanders withdrew their soldiers from the area around Bakhmut, he would give Kyiv information on Russian troop positions, which Ukraine could use to attack them. Prigozhin conveyed the proposal to his contacts in Ukraine's military intelligence directorate, with whom he has maintained secret communications during the course of the war, according to previously unreported U.S. intelligence documents leaked on the group-chat platform Discord.

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