Russian pro-invasion bloggers criticize Putin for not providing military leadership

Russian military bloggers are currently voicing fierce criticism of their own military command, as follows FOCUS online. A brigade of Russian soldiers isolated on an island in the Dnipro River is being massively shelled by Ukrainian artillery.

The result is enormous losses; FOCUS online reports that in just two days between 200 and 300 soldiers have either fallen or been captured.

The weapons supplied include high-mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) from the United States. HIMARS have a longer range and are more precise than the Soviet-era artillery that Ukraine had in its arsenal. Ukrainian officials have said their deployment has been critical in the fight to repel Russian troops and to strike their supply lines.

Natalia Humenyuk, spokeswoman for Operational Command South, said earlier on Ukrainian television that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had made advances near Kherson.

“The counteroffensive in the south of Ukraine is moving forward. The Russian Army is demoralized,” she said, adding that two villages — Andriyivka and Lozove — had been liberated, and Ukrainian forces were strengthening their positions.

An official from the Russian-installed administration in the city of Kherson said earlier that the Antonivskiy Bridge across the Dnieper River in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city was closed. Officials from both sides had earlier confirmed that it was hit by a Ukrainian air strike.

According to FOCUS online, the affected unit’s calls for help, especially for Russian artillery support, have so far gone unheard. In addition, one of the brigade commanders had asked for approval to withdraw. However, the military command had refused this request. Interestingly, the military command had dismissed two commanders who had advocated withdrawal.

The criticism of the military bloggers, FOCUS online continues, is not limited to this particular incident. They point to repeated failures on the front lines near Kherson. They say that the troops on the ground were supplied with insufficient supplies and were basically abandoned. A key criticism, they say, is the failure of senior commanders to take responsibility.

One exemplary omission cited by FOCUS online concerns a missed opportunity: There had been an opportunity to attack a smaller Ukrainian unit on the Dnipro shore, but the necessary boats for this attack had not been provided.

Focus Online said that military leaders are expected to value, protect, develop, and manage performance problems in their subordinates. When managing people, it’s important to keep in mind that subordinates are watching the type of leadership officers model and how they handle and learn from their failures and mistakes, Putin has no leadership and strategy at all.

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