…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Russia’s military leadership is facing increasing criticism from subordinates regarding their handling of the war in Ukraine, according to the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The MoD’s latest intelligence update highlighted the dismissal of Russia’s Maj Gen Ian Popov, who had openly criticized the military leadership in a leaked video intended for his troops.
Popov, commanding the 58th Combined Arms army near Zaporizhzhia, accused the Russian defence ministry leadership of undermining the army’s efforts at a crucial moment.
The MoD noted that while commanders have been routinely sacked since the invasion began, Popov’s removal stands out because it seems to be a consequence of voicing concerns rather than poor performance.
Growing Disaffection and the Impact on Senior Military Figures
The MoD’s report draws attention to the significant disaffection among officers towards the senior military leadership.
This disaffection aligns with the complaints previously expressed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group, who led a mutiny in June 2023.
The direct criticism from subordinates is expected to pose an increasing problem for Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff General Gerasimov.
Wagner Group’s Changing Role and Putin’s Admission
Recent reports suggest that Wagner, Russia’s frontline fighting force in Ukraine, is no longer involved in combat in any significant way following the mutiny within its ranks.
US officials have confirmed this change, stating that the 25,000-strong group led by warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin has left the country.
The Pentagon press secretary emphasized that Wagner forces are not actively participating in combat operations in Ukraine.
President Putin himself admitted that the group does not legally exist, revealing that Wagner rejected an offer to integrate their fighters into Russia’s army.
Putin explained that there is no law governing private military organizations in Russia.
Prigozhin, who instigated the rebellion against Russia’s military leadership, backed down after a deal brokered by Putin’s ally, President Lukashenko of Belarus.
Prigozhin’s current whereabouts remain unknown, although an unverified image of him in his underwear surfaced on Russian chat forums.