With the help of publicly available satellite images of the scene, experts have now counted more than 80 destroyed Russian tanks and armored vehicles, including valuable special equipment for crossing rivers. After the first attempt on May 10, the Russian army reportedly made several more crossing attempts, but all were repelled. According to American researchers from the “Institute for the Study of Warfare”, Russia also lost 485 of the 550 soldiers deployed in Siwerskyi Donets.
Bloggers openly criticize the Kremlin
“There are always problems in wartime,” continues Yuri Podoliak in his maneuver review. “But if the same problems persist three months later and nothing seems to change, then I and millions of Russian citizens start asking questions about who was responsible for this military operation.” It is ludicrous for the Kremlin to pretend that everything is going according to plan, Podoliak said, when there is “a catastrophic lack of equipment” at the front.
Russian military blogger Wladlen Tatarski, listened to by more than 330,000 Telegram subscribers, is even clearer: “The offensive in the Donbass is not only hampered by the lack of reconnaissance and information, but also by the generals . “military engineering” learned that the battalion was stationed near the river, there will be no reforms in the army,” Tatarsky wrote sarcastically.
Sabotage “would explain the situation much more easily”
The blogger under the pseudonym “Starshe Eddy” even suspects sabotage of his own ranks behind the Siwerskyi Donets disaster: “Did the commander of the crossing in Bilohorivka not have the information that in the third month of the war , it was not possible to travel in large columns and pick them up in a narrow area in front of a water barrier?”, he wrote on his Telegram channel, which has more than 391,000 subscribers. “How stupid do you have to be not to understand that? While it might not be bullshit, it’s outright sabotage. To be honest, that would explain this situation a lot easier.”
According to the “Institute for the Study of War”, the statements of these influential bloggers in Russia could certainly have an effect on the public perception of the war: “People who live under an authoritarian regime with strict censorship often do more reliance on seemingly independent individual voices. than official propaganda,” the authors write in their May 14 situation report. “The assessment of these widely read bloggers could fuel doubts about a Russian victory in Ukraine.”