December 9, 2022

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How voices are raised against Russian public servants after Lyman’s loss

History repeats itself and Ramzan Kadyrov is angry again. The Chechen leader had already called for general mobilization in Russia since mid-September after a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region. After Lyman’s loss he took a step back. to say (in Russian) Martial law in border areas, as well “Use of Low Yield Nuclear Weapons” On Ukrainian soil. But Ramzan Kadyrov, above all, does not hesitate to openly criticize the senior officers of the Russian military.

In his view: General Alexandre Lapin, the commander of the Central District of the Russian army, was accused of setting up his headquarters away from the fighting. The Chechen leader was furious “Kinship in the Army”Claiming to have been with this officer “Closed by the superiors”. Before anger: “If I had my will, I would demolish him, take away his reward, and send him forward, with a machine gun in his hand, to wash away his shame at the price of blood.”

Determined to make an example of the corruption of the military elite, Ramzan Kadyrov said on Monday that he would send his three sons, aged 14 to 16, to the front. The Chechen leader’s acerbic attacks were widely picked up by the Russian media. Especially since he found an ally in the person of Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the paramilitary group Wagner: “Let’s send all these bastards to the front, with machine guns and bare feet!”

Even as the retreat of Russian Lyman troops was underway, some commentators praised the city’s long-standing garrison against Ukrainian forces. By eagerly rewriting events, they said, the military objective was to gain time to allow them to establish a defensive line further north along the axis connecting Kreminna and Svadov.

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Fiery diatribes by Ramzan Kadyrov and Yevgeny Prigozhin “Russia had a profound impact on the information space”Comment Institute for War Studies (in English), “Because they broke the story that the Kremlin was trying to soften the blow of defeat around Lyman”. worse, “Their words may have inadvertently undermined Vladimir Putin’s leadership.”.

These sentiments are closely followed by the Kremlin. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov was forced to react while welcoming the contribution. “Heroic” of the head of Grozny.

“In difficult times, emotions must be excluded. (…) We want to make assessments [de la situation] measured and objective.”

Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman

At a press conference

However, both men have found an audience. “Evkhuni Prigozhin and Ramzan Kadyrov are the real heroes and leaders of our people’s war”As Russian far-right theorist Alexander Dugin enthuses, In Telegram. “Those who are not only unafraid of the enemy, but also unafraid to tell the truth. Even when it’s hard.” A way of dubbing two characters in the face of Russian public servants who are blamed for all evil. This, despite several layoffs, including that of the general in charge of logistics.

These two voices are joined by the essential voice of Igor Kirk, known as “Strelkov” (“Shooter”). This Russian military expert, who enjoys a certain aura for leading the Donetsk rebels in 2014, had already qualified for Russian generals. of “Cretins” (in Russian) After the setback in Kargi. While advocating total war in Ukraine, he increased his slurs against public servants. This time too he condemned and commented on the failure “Awesome Cretinism and Professional Leadership”.

These criticisms now seem to be making their way onto the national airwaves. Including on the Rossiya 1 channel ruled by propagandist Vladimir Solovyov. “Communication between nodes is managed by public servants”, Deputy General Andreï Gourouliev of the United Russia formation underscored the set. Points to a system “failure”He requested (in Russian) Those responsible for military failures will be court-martialed.

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As Russian propagandists try to find an explanation for the defeats, the theme of corruption and incompetence on the part of the public servants takes place among the most motivated supporters of the war. “Each new loss is the commander’s personal credit”For example, commented the nationalist writer Jäger Prilebein, who had oscillated between exhaustion and irritation for weeks.

The Kremlin must finally deal with the revolt of military bloggers, who have been chronicling the small movement for months. After the counter-attack in September, many of them had already demanded accountability from the authorities concerned. With hundreds of thousands of subscribers, these commentaries mediate the Kremlin’s Russian military objectives, sharing its enthusiasm and propaganda themes.

“War Correspondents Form a Specific Social Group”, with franceinfo, in mid-September, analyst Anna Colleen Lebedev elaborated. These reviews are no less embarrassing: “The Kremlin cannot suppress pro-war speech, even if they express demands unfavorable to the interests of power.” A double-edged sword, then. Unlike the Ministry of Defense, “ink-blockers” have no mystery about Russian backlash, which has an unfortunate tendency to multiply. No one has crossed the yellow line yet, and Vladimir Putin seems to have been spared. So far, at least.