A former Russian army chief on Telegram criticized the Kremlin and its handling of the war in Ukraine. According to Igor Girkin, the Russian forces paid a very high price for limited gains in Lysichansk.
Gherkin is a Russian nationalist. He has a past in the Russian Army and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), the direct successor of the KGB. He later became the leader of all pro-Russian separatists in the Ukrainian Donbass and Minister of Defense of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
Ukraine accused him of terrorism and he was accused of war crimes. He is also the prime suspect in the case of the downed flight MH17 in 2014, in which 196 Dutch and 6 Belgians were killed. An international arrest warrant was issued against him. Check out what we know about the crash below.
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In a series of posts on Telegram, he told his 400,000 followers that Russia had failed to achieve the second part of its “special operation” in Ukraine. According to him, the Ukrainian defense of Lysichansk was aimed at inflicting maximum damage on Russian troops and taking out as many materials and men as possible.
He said Russia had allowed Ukraine to set the terms of the battle, describing it as a “fatal mistake by Russian leaders”. According to Girkin, the Russian forces now need time to rest and replenish their supplies to continue the fight. The lack of troop replacement and unit rotation would “severely lower troop morale”.
He warned that this is a double-edged sword. Giving Russian forces time to catch their breath may give Ukraine a chance to restart and threaten past Russian victories. The Russians will also have limited prospects for profit elsewhere in Ukraine due to the superiority of Ukrainian forces and equipment.
Gherkin is not the only nationalist blogger in Russia who is disillusioned with the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. His criticism completely contradicts the speech of Moscow, which describes the capture of Lysichansk as an “important victory” and a “turning point”. According to experts, perhaps he hopes to persuade Putin to switch the rifle from shoulder to shoulder. Among other things, it aims to change the military leadership and general mobilization to send more troops to the front.
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