Grim footage recently released has revealed a basement filled with dead fighters near Ukraine's eastern front.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the paramilitary Wagner Group, was seen in the video visiting the basement filled with the dead bodies of his soldiers.
The Russian organisation, who have been described as the private army of President Vladimir Putin, have struggled to gain ground in the war against Ukraine and their heavy losses demonstrate Russia's lack of success.
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Prigozhin, who is a key ally of Putin's – was filmed visiting a basement with piles of stacked bodies in the corner of one of the rooms in a video that was released over the new year.
The Wagner leader was heard saying: “Their contract has finished, they will go home next week, these are getting ready to be sent. We all work during New Year’s Eve.
“Here lie Wagner fighters who died at the front. They are now being put in zinc coffins and they will return home.”
The footage of the fallen Wagner soldiers as well as Prigozhin's despondent commentary has seemingly confirmed the brutal losses the organisation has taken, which was previously suggested by both Ukrainian sources and Russian military blogs too.
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In a second clip from Prigozhin's visit, he was particularly candid about the struggles his forces has faced in their battle to capture the Ukrainian city Bakhmut.
“Everyone wants to know when we will capture [Bakhmut],” he explains, using the Russian name for the city, Artemovsk.
“In Artemovsk, every house has become a fortress. Our guys sometimes fight for more than a day over one house. Sometimes they fight for weeks over one house.
"And behind this house, there is still a new line of defence, and not one.
"And how many such lines of defence are there in Artemovsk? Five hundred would probably not be an exaggeration.”
Some of the difficulties faced by Russian forces were underlined by an unnamed Wagner soldier who told Prigozhin: “We don’t have enough equipment, not enough BMP3 [armoured cars] and shells".
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