Open war between the siloviki has begun in Russia. The defeat of Lyman, less than 24 hours after Vladimir Putin signed the agreements to annex the four regions of south-eastern Ukraine, has brought to light the rivalries between the various factions of the military and security apparatus. Combat no longer takes place behind the scenes. Criticism is expressed openly and loudly. So much so that some have begun to anticipate, if not the end of the regime or a coup d’etat, like Leonid Bershidsky, former director of Vedomosti, who has been a fugitive in Berlin for years, is definitely changing at the helm of the defense.
Yesterday, the President of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, the tycoon at the head of the Wagner mercenary forge Evgeny Prigozhin, who in recent days admitted the paternity of the company, as if to collect the debt, spoke out against the management of the special from military operations, former general , now deputy, Andrei Gurulev, Igor Girkin, aka Strelkov, one of the first to enter the field in Donbass in 2014 for the war , ed) like “Rybar” give space and amplify their voices.
At the moment, none of them goes further in their public statements to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov. But Putin doesn’t need to feel comfortable.
More than the demand for the use of nuclear warheads with a reduced charge, they were met, as Kadyrov said yesterday, by the explicit and severe criticism of the commander of the Central Military District, General Aleksandr Lapin, who, according to him, was unable to bring him the necessary ones Troops, lines of communication, coordination and ammunition to the front.
The strongman from the Caucasus, who has repeatedly shown in the past that he can influence Kremlin policy, recalled that last June Lapin was awarded the title of Hero of Russia for taking control of Lysyhansk, although he “was actually not present on the field or even around the front lines.” Lapin was “a man without talent” who, however, “enjoys the support of senior management,” he added, using the term “nepotism.”
“Do you need evidence of the cracks in the elite, often a sign of regime collapse?” commented Russian economist and opponent Konstantin Sonin, now at the University of Chicago. “I cannot explain the fall of Lyman,” Gurulev, a former commander of the Southern Military District, said in a radio interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, denouncing “lies from top to bottom” by the defense apparatus. Gurulev, who today denounces the disappearance of one and a half million military uniforms, could not continue because he was immediately taken off the air. When the line was reconnected shortly thereafter, the former military man limited himself to general remarks.
“Send all this barefoot and armed garbage straight to the front lines,” Prigozhin said yesterday, ready to take the place of top defense, which he plans to turn into cannon fodder. “There is a total split in the war lobby that will not end peacefully without wanting to play with words,” commented investigative site Bellingcat founder Christo Grozev.
In testament to the climate of universal reckoning, not necessarily good news for those hoping for a democratic turnaround in Russia, pro-Muslim Telegram broadcaster “Readovka” accuses Kadyrov and the others of being worse than the enemy. “Grey Zone” accuses her of working for “the traitors”. The official explanation for this “great debate” within the elite, for the criticisms of the battlefield situation that no one disputes anymore, is that they are the fruit of concern. Concern that in a conflict situation, no groundbreaking decisions have yet been taken, such as imposing martial law, nationalizing companies or ceasing political activity.
“Changes in Russia in recent months have been very limited. And that’s one of the reasons to worry. It is believed that with such a conflict, clearer decisions are needed,” he said in an interview. today to Lucia Annunziata Andrei Kfortov, Director General of Riac (Russian Council for International Affairs). “So far, however, leaders have wanted to maintain stability and avoid moves that could indicate we are moving away from normal,” he added.
“Many (within the ruling class, ed.) say that Russia is not serious enough and that partial mobilization is the answer to criticism of the Kremlin. It is beginning to understand that Ukraine is a very resistant opponent, which is being helped in a big way. Westerners gauge that this conflict will be difficult for Russia and therefore something needs to be done to change the course of the battle in order to win”. So far, no significant economic and political reforms have been made, and the people around Putin are the same as seven months ago.