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Putin’s forces are heading for military ‘defeat’, warns former Russian commander News

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

Putin launched his “special military operation” in Ukraine in February 2022, aiming for a quick victory against its Eastern European neighbor. However, Ukraine responded with a stronger-than-expected defense effort, bolstered by Western aid, which has blunt Russian military gains. More than a year into the conflict, fighting remains concentrated in the easternmost regions of Ukraine, and analysts say Russia’s attempts to carry out winter attacks have largely failed.

The shaky invasion has been pushed back by some of Russia’s military bloggers, including Girkin, who rose to fame during Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and has been accused of war crimes in Ukraine.

Girkin, a self-described 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 insufficiently equipped the troops for the invasion.

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

Girkin offered a dire assessment of Russian forces in new comments, accusing Russian state media, which generally follows the Kremlin line, of “polishing” the situation in Ukraine. He also lamented how the lack of truthful information about the situation in Ukraine has affected Russia.

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

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

Girkin continued to call out the Russian Army for the lack of progress over the winter. Fighting in recent months has largely focused on the town of Bakhmut, where Russian soldiers have fought alongside the Wagner Group, a paramilitary unit, to deliver a largely symbolic victory to the Russian population.

Russia saw some success in the months-long campaign, which has featured some of the heaviest and bloodiest fighting of the war. However, analysts say progress has stalled in recent weeks as the number of recent Russian crimes dwindled, the latest sign that Putin’s forces are continuing to fight back.

“During the winter, we could not push the enemy back even 10 km from Donetsk and not even because we left Kherson. We pushed back from the Kharkiv region. We pushed back from near Kyiv,” Girkin said.

Girkin noted that the Russian economy and military are “totally unprepared” for the “long and protracted war.” He also criticized Russian authorities for legally classifying the invasion as a “special military operation” rather than a war, which he said limits the ability of soldiers in Ukraine.

On Saturday, Girkin criticized Kremlin 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 top Russian authorities “idiots.”

news week reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry and analysts for comment by email.



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