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10 Feb, 2023 21:55

Wagner boss estimates how long Ukraine conflict will last

The hostilities between Moscow and Kiev might drag on for three more years, Yevgeny Prigozhin believes
Wagner boss estimates how long Ukraine conflict will last

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine will likely continue for up to three more years, depending on the goals Moscow actually pursues, Wagner private military group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin has said. The businessman made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Semyon Pegov of the independent WarGonzo project on Friday.

“If we need to cover the DPR and LPR, then we need to work for at least another year and a half or two,” Prigozhin stated, referring to the territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which were recently incorporated into Russia.

Should Russia seek to “go toward the Dnepr,” a major river separating Ukraine into roughly two halves, the conflict will last even longer and drag on for up to three more years, Prigozhin suggested. At the same time, the founder of the private military group noted that in any conflict, the destruction of the enemy’s army must be the priority, rather than a desire to seize territories from the adversary.

Prigozhin also revealed, apparently jokingly, that should Moscow also seek to reach all across Europe toward the English Channel, he already has a perfect plan for such an endeavor. To achieve that goal, everyone in Russia must drop any leisure activity, put on their “working suits,” and work tirelessly. Some spoils of the campaign, however, including “France, Italy, Bulgaria and something else,” should be ceded afterwards to Ukrainians, since they are set to “suffer here with us” much more.

Founded in 2014, Wagner has mainly operated as a security contractor in Africa and the Middle East until now. The precise details of its deployments have not been made public, while Prigozhin denied his ties to the group and its very existence until last year.

The group has been an active participant in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, scoring several victories against the Ukrainian troops. The achievements have also earned the company wide international attention, with the US declaring Wagner a “transnational criminal organization” last month.