“Criminal negligence”: Russian hardliners attack Shoigu

“criminal negligent”
Russian hardliners attack Shoigu

Fronts harden. Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, had to endure harsh words from his own ranks. A former commander blames him for the lack of success in the Ukrainian war. Moscow has so far been indifferent.

A well-known former commander of the pro-Russian armed forces in eastern Ukraine has harshly accused Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of a lack of military success. “I directly accuse Sergei Shoigu of at least criminal negligence,” Igor Girkin said in a video interview posted on his Telegram channel. “I have no reason to accuse him of treason. But I would suspect him.”

This is the harshest public attack ever launched against Russia’s military leadership by one of the prominent hardliners pushing for an escalation of the war campaign in Ukraine. The Kremlin initially did not comment on this. Earlier, former Kremlin mercenary Marat Gabidullin of the notorious Wagner Group told Reuters news agency that Moscow’s troops were ill-prepared for war.

Girkin charged with murder

Girkin, who goes by the Russian alias “Strelkov” for a gunman, is no stranger to the West: He has been charged with murder by Dutch prosecutors for his alleged role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in over Ukraine in 2014. Nearly 300 people were killed.

Despite repeated setbacks and heavy casualties during the 79-day invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin has so far shown no signs of distancing himself from Shoigu. The minister took part in the commemorations of the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II on Monday in Red Square.

Ukraine said it pushed back Russian forces from the eastern city of Kharkiv this week and launched a counteroffensive. According to observers, this could signal a change in the dynamics of the war.

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