The official representative of the National Security Council at the White House, John Kirby, said that despite the “generous” funding that Wagner’s mercenary leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, spends on the war in Ukraine, he is having difficulty recruiting new fighters in Russia and adding fighters from Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, and Mali to his forces.

In a press briefing published by Reuters, Kirby added that "Prigozhin," known as "Putin's chef," owns government contracts from the Ministry of Defense and spends $100 million a month to maintain his "private army."

According to Kirby, the United States estimates the number of Wagner fighters at 50,000, of whom only 10,000 are professional mercenaries, and 40,000 were recruited from Russian prisons by Prigozhin, who is close to the Kremlin.