Putin’s commanders are under close scrutiny: Ultranationalist bloggers apparently have enough power to pillory officers.
Moscow – The Russian invading army has its next victim to mourn. Allegedly. An officer with the rank of colonel is said to have lost his position due to blatant failures – this is now reported Institute for the Study of War (ISW), citing Russian military bloggers. The ISW does not name a name, but refers to the 205th motorized rifle brigade – and its commander should currently be Colonel Roman Titow. It is noteworthy that, according to ISW, the commander’s dismissal was due to criticism from among Russian ultranationalists. If that’s true, Russia’s president will stand Wladimir Putin Domestic politics continues to be under fire. However, less as a person; more from the perspective of his personnel decisions.
The rumblings within the Russian national movement would continue after the supposed death of Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin It could have been assumed that the internal critics in Russia would have become quieter. With the protest and the resignation of a senior troop commander, their voices may have become loud again – especially on the Internet. So loud that Putin was forced to act, as Guido Felder did in the View writes: “The estimated 500 ‘Milbloggers’ are increasingly becoming a problem for President Vladimir Putin. While they reported euphorically about the advance and an impending victory during the invasion of Ukraine, they became increasingly critical after the Russian army’s failures. In this way, they are increasingly questioning official Kremlin communications and putting euphemistic figures into perspective.”
Military bloggers criticize the military leadership – but never Putin’s leadership style
The 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade is credited with blowing up the Kakhovka Dam in June. Their most recent area of operation is said to have been the left flank of Kherson. Troops may have recently been surrounded there and not adequately supported by artillery. In return, information with coordinates for artillery targets was lost to the intelligence service, and as a result they were the ones Ukraine counteroffensive been delivered. At least that’s what the Russian military blogger Gray Zone, who is known to be close to Wagner, writes. To the foreign service of the German wave Russia analyst Abbas Gallyamov explains the supposedly “patriotic perspective” through which the military bloggers look.
According to him, the military bloggers left out Russian President Vladimir Putin in their criticism. “They attack the people involved and do not question Putin’s leadership style or the invasion of Ukraine at all. Doubts about Putin’s leadership style or the war in general are forbidden anyway. Critics are treated as enemies.” Colonel Roman Titov could be the next victim of the Russian army and thus in turn the precarious overall situation for Russia’s troops Ukraine war tighten again. Titov is listed by Ukraine as an alleged war criminal.
Military experts: With every commander fired, the morale of Russia’s troops declines
The criticism is probably directed at the defeat of his brigade near Kherson. The Russians are running out of experienced commanders anyway – an operational disaster, as Ulrich Schlie told him ZDF said: “Such leaders are always identification figures for their own ranks. If the opponent manages to eliminate them, he makes his own success visible to everyone. All of these factors can contribute to further weakening the Russians’ combat effectiveness,” explains the director of the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies (CASSIS) at the University of Bonn.
The online opinion magazine The Pragmaticus writes that The failure of the Russian offensive was actually primarily due to leadership failure to – and this has been observed for a long time: “The combination of inefficiency and murderous brutality that characterized the campaigns in Chechnya, Georgia and Syria also applies to the invasion of Ukraine. The Russian military leadership was unable to guarantee air sovereignty, showed deficiencies in command and control and had to accept a significant loss of high-ranking officers.” In July 2023, around 17 months after the invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has already swept through his generals with an iron broom.
Almost at the same time as General Ivan Popov, then commander of the 58th Army, Paratrooper Major General Vladimir Seliverstov had been relieved of his command of the 106th Guards Airborne Division; In contrast to the successful Popov, he had been responsible for defeats in Bakhmut. Also long since fired was General Sergei Surovikin, head of the Russian Air and Space Forces and former deputy to Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov.
The disintegration of the Russian chain of command is accelerating
The institute suspects that both Popov and Seliverstov were actually removed because they were critical of the military leadership. “Popov and Seliverstov likely contributed to the relative effectiveness of the Russian attack because of their willingness to challenge superiors and the system,” it said ISW. Popov is also said to have had a reputation for standing up for his soldiers. “Their dismissal could be part of an ongoing purge of disobedient commanders by the Russian military leadership and indicate that the disintegration of the Russian chain of command in Ukraine is accelerating,” the institute analyzes the events. The Russian army is bleeding dry at the commander level – So Titov would be the next victim in this process.
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