Putin’s forces headed for military “defeat,” warns former Russian commander

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces fighting in Ukraine are heading for a military “defeat,” former Russian commander Igor Girkin warned on Sunday.

Putin launched his “military special operation” against Ukraine in February 2022 in a bid to secure a quick victory against its eastern European neighbor. However, Ukraine responded with a stronger than expected defense effort, backed by Western aid, which diminished Russia’s military achievements. After more than a year of conflict, fighting remains focused on Ukraine’s easternmost regions, with analysts saying Russia’s attempted winter attacks have largely failed.

The stalled invasion was dismissed by some Russian military bloggers, including Girkin, who rose to prominence during Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and was indicted for war crimes in Ukraine.

Girkin, who describes himself as a Russian nationalist, has expressed support for the goals of the Ukraine invasion but has become increasingly critical of the Kremlin leadership, which he says has not adequately equipped the troops for the invasion.

Russian forces heading for defeat: ex-commander
Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen. Inset, former Russian commander Igor Girkin. Girkin, in his recent criticism of the Kremlin leadership, said that Russian forces are headed for defeat in Ukraine.
Contributor/Getty Images; BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images

Girkin offered a somber assessment for the Russian armed forces in new statements, accusing the Russian state media, which typically follows the Kremlin line, of “polishing” the situation in Ukraine. He also lamented how the lack of true information about the situation in Ukraine affected Russia.

“It’s having an extremely negative impact on the situation across the country, across our state,” Girkin said. “I am not afraid to say that we are moving towards a military defeat.”

Video of Girkin’s remarks was translated and posted to Twitter on Sunday morning by Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister.

Girkin continued to call the Russian military about the lack of progress made during the winter. Fighting in recent months has been mostly concentrated in the town of Bakhmut, where Russian soldiers have fought alongside the Wagner Group, a paramilitary force, in a largely symbolic victory for the Russian people.

Russia recorded some successes in the month-long campaign that included some of the most intense and bloody fighting of the war. But analysts say progress has stalled in recent weeks as the number of recent Russian crimes has fallen – the latest sign Putin’s forces are still fighting.

“In the winter we couldn’t push the enemy back even 10 km from Donetsk, not even because we left Kherson. We returned from the Kharkiv region. We withdrew from near Kiev,” Girkin said.

Girkin pointed out that the Russian economy and military were “completely unprepared” for the “long, protracted war”. He has also criticized the Russian authorities for legally classifying the invasion as a “special military operation” rather than a war, which he says limits the capabilities of soldiers in Ukraine.

On Saturday, Girkin criticized the Kremlin’s military leaders for announcing an increase in ammunition production. He argued that the increase will not keep up with the needs of Russian soldiers and called key Russian authorities “idiots”.

news week emailed the Russian Defense Ministry and analysts for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/putins-forces-heading-military-defeat-former-russian-commander-warns-1792047 Putin’s forces headed for military “defeat,” warns former Russian commander

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