Categories: World

Putin Jokes Russian Officials Who Dared to Criticize War & FORBID State Media From Citing Them

Vladimir Putin is gagging Russian officials who have dared to criticize his war in Ukraine, with the Russian leader forbidding state media from quoting them.

The Kremlin has launched a campaign to silence prominent politicians frustrated by Putin’s invasion that killed at least 100,000 Russian soldiers.

The list of officials who have criticized the war has been handed over to state media with orders not to quote them again in their reports, sources close to the State Duma and the media operation told Russia’s news outlet Verstka.

Among those allegedly on the list is Andrei Kartopolov, the head of the State Duma’s Defense Committee, who last month called on the Kremlin to “stop lying” to Russians about losses on the battlefield in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin is gagging Russian officials who have dared to criticize his war in Ukraine, with the Russian leader even banning state media from quoting them. Among those reportedly on the list is Andrei Kartopolov (pictured right with Putin and Vladimir Korolev in 2017), the head of the State Duma’s Defense Commission, who last month called on the Kremlin to “stop lying” to Russians about losses on the battlefield in Ukraine

A Ukrainian tank is seen as the military mobility of the Ukrainian armed forces continues towards the Kherson front in Ukraine on Wednesday

Another is Andrei Gurulev, a high-ranking member of the State Duma, who criticized a commander after Russia’s defeat in the Ukrainian city of Lyman. “After Lyman’s surrender, he started publicly berating the Ministry of Defense,” a source told Russia’s news channel.

Gurulev also said Russian commanders are too scared to tell Putin about the battlefield losses.

“It’s a problem of total lies and positive messages from head to toe,” Gurulev said.

The Kremlin has also targeted Viktor Zavarzin, a Duma deputy who has criticized the war, as well as Andrei Krazov, Kartapolov’s first deputy.

A source close to the State Duma claimed state media organizations have been told not to quote officials critical of the war.

State media were told that if they have to quote them, it can be ‘only from’ [news agencies] and in a minimal amount if the news agenda demands it,” says a source within a media organization.

Another reportedly on the list is Andrei Gurulev (left), a high-ranking member of the State Duma, who criticized a commander after Russia’s defeat in the Ukrainian city of Lyman. The Kremlin has also targeted Viktor Zavarzin, a Duma deputy who has criticized the war, as well as Andrei Krazov (right), Kartapolov’s first deputy

A number of officials and Russian military bloggers, initially positive about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, have become increasingly critical of the Moscow generals’ failures since Kiev recaptured large parts of the country’s northeast in September.

And now the top US general, Mark Milley, estimates that ‘more than’ 100,000 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded during the war.

Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said a similar number of Ukrainian soldiers were “probably” killed in the war.

Milley added that as many as 40,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed or injured in the war, now in its ninth month.

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The estimates of more than 200,000 military casualties on both sides are the highest given by a Western official to date.

Prominent Russian officials have also criticized the Kremlin the surrender in Kherson, na Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu and General Sergei Surovikin were caught on state television last night to announce it.

War correspondent Anastasia Kashevarova – a state television correspondent and former associate of Vyacheslav Volodin, loyalist speaker of the Russian parliament – raged over “who and why” Kherson surrendered.

‘We bitten a huge bite, couldn’t swallow it and now burp it back. We burped Izyum, Balakleya, Liman,” she wrote.

‘What was the big plan? And by the way, what does a ‘Victory’ mean to all of us? What must we do? What results should we achieve? Where do we go so that it is clear – this is it, this is the Victory?

‘Nobody knows. I don’t think they know anything about it in the Kremlin, nor in the Ministry of Defense.”

A Ukrainian soldier is seen in front of a Ukrainian tank as the military mobility of the Ukrainian armed forces continues to the Kherson front in Ukraine on Wednesday.

Sergey Mardan, war analyst for Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, warned: “The special military operation ends today with the withdrawal from the Russian city of Kherson. And the long war begins. Trust me, it will take a long time.’

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that the Russians to feign an extract of Kherson to entice the Ukrainian army into a deep-seated battle in the strategic industrial port city, a gateway to the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula.

And Mykhailo Podolyak, one of President Zelensky’s top advisers, said Ukraine sees no sign of Russia leaving Kherson without a fight.

Podolyak said last night that Russian troops remain in the city and that Kiev believes reinforcements are on the way. “Actions speak louder than words,” he tweeted, “Ukraine will liberate territories based on intelligence data, not staged TV statements.”

Oleksiy Arestovych, another senior adviser and former head of military intelligence, was a little more optimistic but still cautious – said Russian troops appear to be leaving the region “but not as much as would happen if it were a full withdrawal or regrouping.”

Russian troops destroy bridges as they flee and mine mines, according to Arestovych, who added: “At the moment we don’t know what their intentions are – will they fight with us and will they try to capture the city of Kherson? They go very slowly.’

General Milley said: Russia had gathered 20,000 to 30,000 troops in Kherson and a full withdrawal could take several weeks.

‘The first indicators are that they are actually doing it. They made the public announcement that they are doing it. I believe they are doing it to maintain their forces to restore defenses south of the (Dnieper) river, but that remains to be seen,” he said.

Milley said it is possible that the Russians will use the retreat to reset their forces for a spring offensive, but “here is also an opportunity, an opportunity to negotiate.”

But for negotiations to stand a chance, both Russia and Ukraine must come to a “mutual acknowledgment” that military victory “may not be achieved by military means, and so you must turn to other means,” Milley said, referring to the end of the First World War as an example.

Merry

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