CNN  — 

What’s eating Yevgeny Prigozhin?

In recent days, the boss of the Russian private military company Wagner seems to have gone into social-media meltdown, flooding his Telegram channel and other accounts with ever-more outrageous and provocative statements.

Among other things, Prigozhin revealed an apparently humiliating battlefield setback for Russia, fulminating this week that a Russian brigade had “fled” around eastern city of Bakhmut, threatening his troops with encirclement by the Ukrainian forces.

“The situation on the western flanks is developing according to the worst of the predicted scenarios,” Prigozhin complained in an audio message released Thursday. “Those territories that were liberated with the blood and lives of our comrades … are abandoned today almost without any fight by those who are supposed to hold our flanks.”

Earlier in the week, Prigozhin marred Russia’s May 9 Victory Day celebrations with public and profanity-laced criticisms of the country’s top military brass.

“Today they [Ukrainians] are tearing up the flanks in the Artemovsk [Bakhmut] direction, regrouping at Zaporizhzhia. And a counteroffensive is about to begin,” he said Tuesday. “Victory Day is the victory of our grandfathers. We haven’t earned that victory one millimeter.”