The owner of the Wagner PMC confirmed the authenticity of the video, in which the military with the Wagner PMC patch appeal to the head of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov with a demand to give them shells. In the video, they criticize Gerasimov using obscene language:
“To the Chief of the General Staff: you are a f*ck and a f**k. We have nothing to fight with, we have no shells. There, the guys are dying for us, and we are sitting here, fucking not helping. We need shells, we want to f*ck everyone. We are fighting against the entire Ukrainian army near Bakhmut. Where are you, help us, finally. There is nothing more to call you, bl * d. Except for one word - f * dor.
The video went viral on December 26. One of the speakers has a Wagner PMC patch, but there was no other confirmation that these were really Prigozhin's mercenaries. The fact that these were his subordinates, Prigozhin himself confirmed on December 27, by publishing a voice message in response to a journalistic request, as well as a video in which he greets the mercenaries and is interested in their living conditions. In the request, the journalists were interested in whether these were really representatives of the Wagner PMC or were they disguised as "Ukrainian nationalists".
“Especially to answer your question, I went to the guys in dugouts. Have you seen any of the Ukrainian nationalists here now? And I didn't see. Our main task and theirs too, and they talk about it all the time, is to go and take Bakhmut. And I think that the capture of Bakhmut is not far off for a long time. As for the problems that, unfortunately, arise at every step, I hope that we will solve them. Let's decide and let's make a decision. There are no nationalists in that sensational video.
And separately, the guys asked me to convey that when you sit in a warm office, the problems of the front line are hard to hear. And when you pull out the bodies of your comrades every day and see them for the last time, then ammunition is very necessary. And I want everyone to move and at least somehow think about what it’s like for them on the front line.”
The fact that Ukrainian nationalists are on the video was reported by the Military Review publication. The authors of the news stated that the appeal to Gerasimov was recorded by “two fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, dressed in camouflage with Wagner PMC stripes.”
Prigozhin has long been in conflict with the Russian Ministry of Defense, most of all he got Colonel General Lapin, who commanded the Central Military District. Prigozhin expressed support for the words of Ramzan Kadyrov, who openly called Lapin responsible for the loss of Liman by the Russian military, as well as other failures of the Russian army. The topic of "warm rooms" was repeatedly raised by both Prigogine and Kadyrov. They say that the command is inefficiently occupying Ukraine, is itself far from the front and makes decisions that result in the death of many Russian soldiers. After a long and systematic criticism from Prigozhin and Kadyrov, Lapin was removed from his post, this became known on October 29 from Russian propagandists, including from the Chechen state channel.
Lapin himself is remembered for the fact that he awarded his own son, who commanded a tank regiment, which suffered serious losses during the attack on Chernigov and Sumy. It was also stated that the Colonel General put a pistol to the temples of the mobilized because they retreated from Svatovo. He called them carrion and threatened to shoot them.