Dissatisfaction is growing among Russian officials. This criticism does not come from the pacifists – it is a derogatory word for pacifists who have been severely repressed by the Putin regime – shocked by the brutality of the invasion. But they come mainly from “hawks”, Russian nationalists who want the Kremlin to be even tougher, provide better equipment and weapons to the troops, not to be distracted by the corrupt army, and declare war and demand a general mobilization. Rather than seize Kiev, Putin has given up on his nightmares, and they are angry that Ukrainian authorities have acknowledged that the Donbass – especially in Serotonetsk, half of which have already been taken over by the Russians.
The legitimacy of the existence of the so-called “Ukraine” is no longer in question, complained Igor Kirkin, a former agent of the Federal Security Service (FSB, in Russian), in a telegram this Monday. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dared to criticize the speech, saying that prioritizing the Donbass was not for the whole of Ukraine, but for “forgetting the militarization and destruction of this territory.”
The dissatisfaction of the “hawks” in Moscow is not surprising. With several weeks of slow or no improvement in the Donbass, the Russian offensive has recently gained momentum in the Chevroletonetsk. And it is a city of only 100,000 people, considered of little strategic value, and offers only the opportunity to boast about Putin’s conquest of Lukansk in practice.
In the Russian military, corruption in the armed forces is increasingly being discussed, and its price is being paid by the troops. “We see a lot of talk about bulletproof vests,” Olga Ivshina, a BBC correspondent dedicated to investigating the condition of Russian forces, told Ukraine. “Many people do not get the bulletproof vests they need, or come without armor plates. But if you go to the Russian version of eBay, you will find them for sale,” he explained, giving other examples, including important equipment such as tourniquets and medicines. “Some players feel abandoned.”
The “hawks” against the Kremlin were brutal casualties of Russian junior officers, the British Ministry of Defense revealed. They have been pressured by superiors to go to the forefront to oversee their forces, which consist mainly of inexperienced recruits. “The loss of a large portion of the younger generation of professional executives will exacerbate existing problems,” the report noted. Citing “credible reports of riots”.
Many senior officials, veterans and Russian nationalists were not happy either. “Kirkin’s disagreement is a sign of a continuing turnaround among military activists and former military circles,” the report by the Institute for War Research said.
Seen as a symbol among Russian nationalists, Kirkin is a veteran of the war in Transnistria, Bosnia – and he knows whether or not he interferes with Portuguese soldiers. nom de guerre “Strelkov”. “In the Donbass, he crossed the border in 2014. He led half a hundred fighters, an infiltrator who is considered the trigger of this war. And, by extension, the current one.
Strelkov stood alone during the siege of Slovenesk – which was recaptured from the separatists by Ukraine and is now back in the eyes of the Russians, considered important for the provision of Ukrainian forces in the Donbass – and Donetsk finds himself the military leader of the separatists. He will return to Moscow on a Dutch arrest warrant for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
In March, Strelkov will also be described by Bloomberg as “Putin’s new alternative ego”. For the past few years, the Russian president has distanced himself from his liberal advisers and approached Strelko’s vision, disguised as a general, who in the nostalgia of the Russian Empire was a hobbyist to take part in the historic reconstruction of the Civil War. In the Tsarist army.
However, if at first the invasion of Ukraine seems like a dream for Strelko, he is clearly not satisfied. The Russian nationalist icon wrote, “On the front line, there is a severe lack of forces and means to create even tactical victories achieved through considerable bloodshed.” Complaining about the Kremlin’s “illusory beliefs” that “no honest and competent person will share.”
This does not mean that the Russian war machine, though less than expected, is no longer deadly. In Severodonetsk, Ukrainian military commander Oleksandr Striuk called on civilians trapped in the city, estimated at between 12,000 and 13,000, to hide in the basement, the size of a bomb.
“The situation is so serious and the city is being brutally destroyed, block by block,” Striuk warned this Tuesday, quoting The Guardian.