Igor Vsevolodich Girkin (51), nicknamed Strelkov, does not utter his words. The former KGB colonel and ex-“strongman” of the unrecognized “Donetsk People’s Republic” has been arguing for weeks about what he believes to be the incompetent Russian leadership, which is said to be too lenient and “considerate” in its attack on Ukraine.
A very aggressive Girkin is not shy about even harsh criticism of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu: “I will send our entire government and its public servants to a punitive company. With a few exceptions: some would go with me to another place after a long and thorough interrogation. I directly accuse Sergei Shoigu of at least criminal negligence. I have no evidence to accuse him of treason, but at least I will suspect him.”
When he was still in power in the Donbass, Gherkin is said to have signed execution warrants against his subordinates, citing a decree of the USSR Supreme Soviet of June 22, 1941, the day Hitler’s Wehrmacht invaded the country. A commander of Jerkin’s forces died after he allegedly smoked marijuana. Since then, a nationalist known as “Strelkov”, with the help of PR specialists, has managed to become the “relentless” bully who regularly provokes Russia from the far right.
Gherkin despises the Kremlin
Girkin has nothing but contempt and mockery of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and even Putin: “Lukashenko likes to present himself as a strong man, but he is very cautious and cunning and never finishes anything. And in that he shows his solidarity with our president. But then our wonderful and charming victories ” “It is hard to expect the father of Belarus to jump upside down in this mess.” He despises the Kremlin system so much that once they start praising him, Strelkov said he would be afraid of his alleged involvement in the July 17 shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, and an international arrest warrant was issued in 2014.
‘Strategy debate continues’
Girkin openly talks about the possibility of defeating Russia. After that, Ukraine will take back Crimea, but it will also occupy Rostov-on-Don and other Russian cities – “wherever they have the strength and ability”.
The Russian press praised Girkin’s military performance as “a useful function in continuing the discussion on the tactics and strategy of military operations and the selection of priorities.” Journalist Maxim Artemyev says in the portal “News” that the state “frankly, in the opinion of many, failed in its educational work”: “Personally, I do not think that support in the Russian Federation for the military operation and the President personally, according to all opinion polls and impressions, including foreign It is particularly evident.
“He must have support in the security services.”
Oddly enough, right-wing extremist Girkin allowed him to publish his theses with impunity in Russia. But there is a reason for this, according to military expert Yuri Fedorov, who studies in Prague: “Girkin is openly critical, including Vladimir Putin. A person who does not have serious support in law enforcement agencies, and especially in officials of responsible security departments, whether they are detained Immediately or simply with the help [dem Nervengift] Eliminate the Novichok or beat to death with a brick under some door frame. But he can say that. This means that there is a serious right-wing opposition in Russia – a hard-line opposition to Putin, criticizing him for his lack of resolve in the war with Ukraine, and a volatility that doubts victory.
From a purely military perspective, Gherkin is “fully qualified,” Fedorov said in an interview with the MediaLex portal. He knows that under the present conditions it is impossible to defeat Ukraine: “Yes, some kind of compromise is possible, they think, but it is not a decisive victory. And Girkin speaks directly about the failure. I think he got it in the right way. Because the process actually failed to to a big limit “.
Will the “liberal fifth column” become a scapegoat?
The question has always been what this failure means for the rulers of Russia: “Some say that the situation should be used to create new, more powerful and more modern armed forces. In addition, it is necessary to simultaneously suppress any liberal opposition or liberal circles in Russia that prevented this Victory. We are talking about putting the entire political system and the government of the Russian Federation under the control of the security services.” There is a power struggle behind the scenes, as the “War Party” works to blame the “liberal fifth column” for the defeat. “Mass repression” is to be expected.
Fedorov regards talk of another attack on Kyiv or even the use of tactical nuclear weapons as baseless propaganda in the Kremlin aimed at destabilizing Ukraine.
The Americans: the growing opposition in the Russian army
As the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) sees Girkin’s outbursts of anger as an indication of serious differences of opinion within the “War Party”: “Internal opposition in Russian military circles that the Kremlin is not doing enough to win the war is increasing,” the former FSB officer denounced ( FSB) Igor Girkin (also known as Strelkov) with the statements of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the priority of the “special operation” in Ukraine is the liberation of Donbass and that the terms “disarmament” and “disarmament” have recently been forgotten, Girkin accused the Kremlin of a policy of appeasement and said that the danger of defeat is rising “.