Even after almost 80 days, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not going as planned. The criticisms of Putin and in particular of Defense Minister Shoigu are becoming stronger and stronger.
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 Sergey Shoigu of at least criminal negligence,” Igor Girkin said in a video interview posted on his Telegram channel on Friday. “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.
Putin does not distance himself from Shoigu
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.