Patterico's Pontifications


Popular Russian Pundits Publicly Express Frustration About Recent Military Setbacks

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:42 pm

[guest post by Dana]

While Russia is “regrouping” its forces after suffering a drubbing in the Kharkiv region, the knives are out on Russian state television:

The same pundits who used to threaten NATO countries with nuclear strikes are begrudgingly acknowledging that Russia’s Armed Forces have suffered a series of humiliating setbacks in Ukraine.

There is quite a litany of complaints at the link, including a call for the heads of military leaders to be delivered to Putin:

“For two months, Ukrainian Armed Forces and military equipment have been massing in that area, all Telegram channels have been writing about it. Where was our damn reconnaissance? All of their heads should be laying on Putin’s desk, hacked off at the base… Of course, this is a tactical defeat. I hope it will be very sobering.”

One critic even called the “regrouping” an actual defeat:

Political scientist Sergey Mikheyev described recent developments in Kharkhiv as “a serious failure,” on the part of Russia. “Call it ‘regrouping’ or whatever else… This is our most serious defeat during the last six months, and the most significant success of our adversary… Perhaps this failure is beneficial, because being so obvious, now it’s impossible to pull the wool over our eyes, pretending that everything is wonderful,” he said.

Additionally, because defeat by NATO troops would be easier to stomach for Russia, doubt is being publicly cast about the Ukrainian troops:

“In the process of preparing the battle-ready Ukrainian troops, it turns out they’ve been rapidly turning darker in color and becoming fluent English speakers. They’re becoming indistinguishable from the mercenaries… Some of them have a Southern drawl, others speak with a British accent. Stop pretending already,” [filmmaker Karen Shakhnazarov ]said.

In the meantime, the Kremlin is warning against counting Putin out – just yet anyway:

The Kremlin on Tuesday offered a quiet rebuke after Western speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calamitous decision to invade Ukraine will inevitably lead to his ouster.

“Russians support the president,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov… Peskov cited voter turnout for Putin’s last election, in 2018 – one marked by apathy and fear for the future as the autocratic leader solidified his grip on the levers of power – and current, purportedly accurate polling that shows he enjoys relatively high popularity among average citizens.

But Peskov issued a warning immediately after, citing new legislation since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 that harshly criminalizes open criticism of the government and its decisions: “The line is very, very thin. You have to be very careful here.”

All good signs, don’t you think?

Oh, and did you hear that another close ally of Putin’s has died after falling overboard from his boat?

Ivan Pechorin’s body was found washed up around 100 miles from Vladivostok in Russia’s far east, on Monday after a two-day search, local outlet reported…Pechorin fell off his moving boat on September 10 as it sailed near Russky Island, the outlet reported. He was the Aviation Director for Russia’s Far East and Arctic Development Corporation (KRDV), which described his death as an “irreparable loss.”…According to the Mirror’s Russia correspondent, he was personally selected by Putin for his role…


20 Responses to “Popular Russian Pundits Publicly Express Frustration About Recent Military Setbacks”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. Is this a hole in the levee? I can’t wait to see the drip become a torrent.

    norcal (da5491)

  3. Here is a non-paywalled link to the Daily Beast article.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. This all so sad. NOT!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  5. They seem to be moving to the “If only Putin knew!” position. Which means that, with great regret, Putin will demand heads on pikes for misleading him so badly.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  6. Rip beat me to it.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  7. Those Russian oligarch sure are accident prone. Too much vodka, no doubt.

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  8. Russia has freedom of speech. Freedom after speech is a different question.

    In practical terms, the people say what they want and then the FSB do what Putin wants.

    nk (32097f)

  9. “In the process of preparing the battle-ready Ukrainian troops, it turns out they’ve been rapidly turning darker in color and becoming fluent English speakers…”

    You can’t get away with that in the era of 5 billion cell phones.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  10. I want to hear a Kremlin press release that says “President Putin is still in charge! Let there be no doubt about that!”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  11. There is also a petition, signed by City Council members in various cities, that started in Putin’s home city, St. Petersburg, calling to Putin to resign/be removed from office on grounds of treason that is gradually gathering more signatures. The hope is that insiders in a powerful position will fell they have support if they move against Putin.

    It was carefully written to avoid calling what is going on a war (written so as not to violate any new laws)

    They are nit facing arrest, but..

    Sept 13 (Reuters) – A group of St Petersburg local politicians who called for President Vladimir Putin to be sacked over the war in Ukraine faces the likely dissolution of their district council following a judge’s ruling on Tuesday, one of the deputies said.

    Nikita Yuferev said the judge decided that a series of past council meetings had been invalid, paving the way for it to be broken up by the regional governor.

    Just a coincidence?

    One more thing:

    Another council member, Dmitry Palyuga, said the same court then fined him 47,000 roubles ($780) for “discrediting” the authorities by calling for Putin’s removal. Court officials could not be reached by telephone for comment.

    Just a fine? Not quite like Stalin. I don’t know about the Czar.

    Sammy Finkelman (0ac4d7)

  12. Interesting to see how long they dare to publicly poke a rat with a pointed stick. His history should telegraph what to expect.

    DCSCA (c56b15)

  13. Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 9/13/2022 @ 6:14 pm

    You can’t get away with that in the era of 5 billion cell phones.

    Reminds me of the claim that U.,S. and British war planes destroyed the Egyptian Air Force in 1967.

    The war reshaped political alignments in the area, as Egypt and several other Arab states broke diplomatic relations with the United States in the wake of Egyptian charges of U.S. military operations in support of Israel. After the war, the Soviet Union provided a massive resupply of arms to Egypt and Syria and supported Arab demands for Israeli withdrawal.

    Sammy Finkelman (0ac4d7)

  14. Ms. Davis has been doing valuable work since the start of Putin’s latest invasion, transcribing all the nuttery in Russian media.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  15. They have cable tv in russia. The difference is, it watches you

    EPWJ (650a62)

  16. Is Russian joke?

    Three prisoners are in jail cell. They ask why you are here. One say I disagreed with Popov. Other say I agreed with Popov. Third one say I am Popov.

    nk (140ee8)

  17. #16 and #17 Here’s another one:

    Boris: “How are things going with you?”
    Ivan: “Average.” Worse than yesterday, better than tomorrow, so, average.”

    (Putin has probably heard many of these jokes — and collected some of the people with nerve enogh to tell them.)

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  18. You might be interested in this podcast with Gen. Hurtley discussing the current state of Russia’s Army and why they are so abysmal at their jobs. It’s very good.

    Dana (1225fc)

  19. How do you have time to listen to podcasts with all the work you do here, Dana?

    norcal (da5491)

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