The Moscow-installed leaders in four Ukrainian regions that Russia claimed to have annexed reiterated their support for Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday as he faces opposition from Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.
“The only true solution to achieve our victory is to consolidate around the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin,” Denis Pushilin, the head of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, said in a statement on Telegram.
The heads of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic, as well as the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, expressed similar support for Putin.
Pushilin said this “difficult stage for Russia” was “particularly painful” for him, given Wagner’s role in capturing “Artemivsk,” the Soviet-era name for Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine.
“Wagner's guys sometimes did the impossible,” Pushilin said. But, he said, “confrontations of any kind, both before and now, will never be able to lead to the achievement of our goals.”
The Russian-backed leaders in occupied the Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions reassured their followers on Telegram that the situation in their regions remains “stable.”