The unexpected only very rarely happens in Russia; so much so that when it does happen, one scratches one’s head and cleans one’s glasses. In the last few days former Vice-President of Russia Major-General Rutskoi – yes, the very man who in 1991 tried to block Ukraine from becoming independent – has launched a scathing attack on Putin’s war in an interview on the Kovalev Principle channel, available in the Russian original on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EABFgqLZQbU. Kovalev had originally interviewed him in November 2022 but not everything went public until now.
For over two decades, Rutskoi insists, Russia’s armed forces have been led by people who have absolutely no military training at all – Sergei Ivanov, Anatolii Serdyukov and Sergei Shoigu. Complete incompetents in no condition to lead a war beyond Russian borders. Not only did the current Defence Minister never serve in the armed forces; neither did five of his deputy ministers. The rot set in years ago. In the name of military reform the furniture salesman Serdyukov demolished no less than eight institutions for advanced military training, leaving only one behind; twelve advanced engineering institutions, leaving only one behind; the same was true for the air force, artillery etc. Everything went under the knife. The country has failed to train the cadres it needs to engage in war. “As for the current special operation, it is a tragedy for our country. People are being killed, killed senselessly”. But the slogan is raised: “in defence of the country”. “Where are they defending Russia?” And as to the annexation of Ukrainian regions like Donetsk and Lugansk, Rutskoi was “astonished” that this should be done. No one gave anyone the right to do this.