Espreso. Global

Military failures sparks hunt for internal enemies in Russia - former advisor to ex-Minister of Defense

21 January, 2024 Sunday
17:16

Escalating challenges are prompting the Kremlin to resort to internal purges, sacrificing both loyalists and their own ranks as options dwindle

Oleksiy Kopytko, expert and former advisor to ex-Minister of Defense Reznikov, shared insights on his Telegram channel.

Over the past week, Russia has experienced a series of incidents and crises, including:

  • • The ”incident” with A-50 and IL-22M aircraft
  • • Clashes in Bashkortostan
  • • Breakdown at the Lukoil Nizhny Novgorod Refinery affecting gasoline production (linked to sanctions)
  • • Several disasters in the housing and utilities sector in various regions and other pieces of bad news
  • • Incidents involving drones near critical facilities, such as the Tambov gunpowder plant, St. Petersburg, and the Rosneft oil depot in Klitsy.

According to Kopytko, a noticeable deficit in air defense systems is evident. If Russian forces are struggling to defend against Ukrainian drones, the deployment of NATO drones or missiles could present an even more formidable challenge.

In an attempt to divert attention, the Kremlin tried to emphasize concerns about gender-neutral toilets, but it didn't have the desired impact.

"Traditionally, to stir enthusiasm among the people, the Russian government tends to exaggerate certain "victories." They presented the "capture of the village of Vesele" north of Soledar as one such "victory." However, despite extensive propaganda efforts, the Russian population did not recognize the significance of this "feat," and the sense of greatness was not instilled,” commented Kopytko.

As a second strategy, the authorities have escalated their rhetoric and targeted specific groups as enemies of the state, including:

  • National diasporas and ethnic communities, which were likened to criminal groups, as articulated by Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Petr Tolstoy. The head of the Uzbek community was arrested for a social media post.
  • "Relocants" (a contested term used to describe Russians who left Russia after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war), foreign agents, and other perceived "disloyal" elements. State Duma Speaker Volodin announced the preparation of a bill that would enable the confiscation of property from those considered undesirable. This includes individuals involved in "discrediting the Russian army" or anything deemed objectionable.

“The prominent Russian speaker with a penchant for alcohol, General-Deputy Andrei Gurulev (an advocate for the revival of the GULAG), proposed a straightforward approach, suggesting the exile of national-traitors who do not support Putin (comprising about 20% of the population) to Kolyma. In response, representatives from the Magadan region advised him to refrain from such remarks, emphasizing that the alcohol-fueled MP, formally representing the Far East, had designated the region as a dumping ground for all sorts of riffraff. But Putin recently visited the region. The locals are still filled with self-importance,” Kopytko wrote.

According to him, the mood among residents of Siberia and the Russian Far East is notably grim. Severe cold spells have impacted these regions, resulting in local utility failures. People are grappling with freezing temperatures, enduring power and gas shortages, while thousands of coffins containing war dead are being transported to the area.

“The more bad news there is, the fewer moves the Kremlin has left. For the "enemies" who are not to be pitied are running out. Public purges of the military and officials remain in reserve. They will have to drop a significant member of the loyalists, and then some of their own,” the former advisor concluded.

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