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Change for Ukrainian Military: Proposal of Troop Positions in Exchange for Withdrawal in Bakhmut

Leaked documents obtained by The Washington Post reveal a startling proposition made by the head of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group to Ukrainian officials.

The documents suggest that the Wagner Group offered the positions of Russian troops in exchange for a withdrawal of Ukrainian forces in the beleaguered city of Bakhmut.

The story, co-authored by Shane Harris, the National Security Correspondent for The Washington Post, sheds light on the extensive communications between the Wagner Group and Ukraine’s military intelligence.

Although NBC News has not independently confirmed these revelations, Shane Harris stands by the authenticity of the leaked U.S.

intelligence documents, which were disseminated on the messaging platform Discord.

Responding to Reuters’ claim that the story is a hoax, Harris emphasizes that their report is based on classified U.S.

intelligence, and their extensive communications between the Wagner Group and Ukraine have been corroborated by Ukrainian sources.

However, the chief and spokesman of the Wagner Group have dismissed the report as a hoax.

When asked about this reaction, Harris maintains that the critique is likely directed at the classified intelligence documents rather than the story itself.

He further highlights that the Wagner Group’s extensive communications with Ukraine are known to U.S.

intelligence, and their authenticity has been independently verified.

The central claim of the leaked documents revolves around the Wagner Group’s alleged offer to disclose Russian troop locations in exchange for a withdrawal of forces in Bakhmut, where the group has been facing significant casualties.

Notably, the chief of the Wagner Group has not directly addressed the truth of this claim.

The ongoing feud between the chief and commanders, centered around the alleged failure to provide adequate equipment to his forces, adds another layer of complexity to the situation.

Regarding the potential impact of these leaks on Russian President Putin, Harris points out that it remains unclear.

Some officials caution that the chief may be playing a head game with the Ukrainians, suggesting that Putin might already be aware of his contacts.

Nevertheless, if Putin was unaware of the offer, it is reasonable to assume that he would not be pleased.

Despite public feuds with the Ministry of Defense, the chief of the Wagner Group is known as a close ally and “Putin’s chef” due to his ownership of catering companies.

The leaked U.S.

intelligence communications intercepts offer remarkable insight into the extent to which the U.S.

government has penetrated Russian communications.

It is evident that the U.S.

possesses a keen understanding of the Russian military apparatus and actively monitors communications.

The documents suggest that the U.S.

government discovered these contacts by monitoring the Ukrainian side of the conversation, although indications also concede the involvement of the Wagner Group.

This revelation provides a glimpse into the depth of U.S.

penetration into these communications, offering a rich understanding of their knowledge regarding the war in Ukraine.

As the story unfolds, the authenticity and implications of the leaked documents continue to raise questions.

With multiple actors involved in this back-and-forth, the full extent of the situation and its impact on Ukrainian-Russian relations remains to be seen.

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