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Pro-war faction criticises Russian military campaign in Ukraine: report

26.10.2022 11:00
Prominent members of Russia’s military-style uniformed services have expressed their disillusionment with the country's war effort in Ukraine, piling pressure on President Vladimir Putin, according to the Institute for the Study of War. 
Prominent members of Russias military-style uniformed services, known as the so-called siloviki faction, have criticised their countrys war effort in Ukraine, piling pressure on President Vladimir Putin, according to the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Prominent members of Russia’s military-style uniformed services, known as the so-called "siloviki" faction, have criticised their country's war effort in Ukraine, piling pressure on President Vladimir Putin, according to the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The US-based think tank made the assessment in its latest report on the war in Ukraine, published on Tuesday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The ISW wrote: “Members of the Russian siloviki faction continue to voice their dissatisfaction with Russian war efforts in Ukraine, indicating that Russian President Vladimir Putin will continue to struggle to appease the pro-war constituency in the long term.”

The US experts explained that “the Russian siloviki faction refers to people with meaningful power bases within Putin’s inner circle who are fielding combat forces in Ukraine.”

The Washington-based think tank noted that, according to reports on Tuesday, one of the siloviki, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, "complained that the Russian response to claimed Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory" had been "weak."

Kadyrov added that Russia must “erase Ukrainian cities from the earth,” the ISW reported. 

Moreover, Kadyrov claimed that "Russia is now engaged in a war with Ukraine instead of a 'special military operation'" because he said Ukrainian forces were fighting on "Russian territory," according to the US think tank. 

“Kadyrov noted that he is unhappy with the lack of Russian retaliation despite the establishment of martial law,” the ISW reported, adding that the Chechen leader “had remained relatively quiet throughout October.”

Criticism of missile campaign, annexation of Ukrainian regions, progress of war

The US experts said that Kadyrov’s statement “indirectly criticises the scale of the Russian missile campaign against Ukrainian energy infrastructure,” adding that “Putin’s missile campaign is unlikely to satisfy the pro-war nationalist camp in the long term, given that Putin cannot fix the many flaws within the Russian military campaign in Ukraine nor can he deliver his maximalist promises.”

Moreover, Kadyrov’s “rant” also “highlights Putin’s error in annexing four Ukrainian oblasts before Russian forces reached the oblasts’ borders, which has created confusion about where ‘Russian territory’ begins,” the ISW assessed.

According to the US experts, “Putin’s annexation of Ukrainian territories has likely triggered criticism within the Kremlin elite, which will likely intensify as Putin loses more occupied territories.”

Moreover, the Russian siloviki have also “directly confronted Putin regarding the progress of the Russian war in Ukraine, which further highlights their significance within Russian power structures,” the ISW reported.

For instance, Wagner Group financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin harshly criticised the Russian Ministry of Defence in a private conversation, in which he “reportedly accused the Russian MoD of heavily relying on Wagner forces while failing to finance the group or provide necessary resources, which is consistent with his numerous public statements,” the US think tank said, citing US intelligence and a report by The Washington Post

Dissident attacks on railways in Russia, Belarus

Meanwhile, the UK Ministry of Defence reported on Wednesday that the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region announced a day earlier "that an explosive device had damaged the railway near the village of Novozybkovo, approximately 15km from the Russia-Belarus border.”

The line is the main rail link between Russia and southern Belarus, the UK experts noted in their latest intelligence update, published on Twitter.

According to the British Ministry of Defence, a Russian anti-war group called Stop the Wagons claimed responsibility for the incident, “at least the sixth incident of sabotage against Russian railway infrastructure claimed by STW since June.”

The UK experts said that such sabotage incidents were “part of a wider trend of dissident attacks against railways in both Russian and Belarus,” adding that the Russian authorities have previously “clamped down on STW’s online presence.”

According to the British Ministry of Defence, the Russian army “primarily relies on rail transport for deploying forces to Ukraine,” but the network spans over 33,000 km, largely passing through isolated areas, and so “the system is extremely challenging to secure against physical threats.”

Moreover, the Russian leadership "will be increasingly concerned that even a small group of citizens has been sufficiently opposed to the conflict to resort to physical sabotage,” the UK experts predicted. 

Power switched off in downtown Kyiv 

Meanwhile, the Kyiv Power Grid company on Tuesday switched off electricity in the centre of the Ukrainian capital, saying it was necessary due to constant Russian shelling of the energy infrastructure, the PAP news agency reported.

Ukraine repels Russian attacks near nine settlements

Over the past 24 hours, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have repelled Russian attacks near nine settlements, the Ukrainska Prada website reported on Wednesday, citing the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 

Ukrainian troops "repulsed Russian advances near Ivanhrad, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Soledar, Kurdiumivka, Krasnohorivka, Novomykhailivka, Nevelske, and Ternova," according to Ukraine’s military command.  

Over the past day, Russian forces carried out five missile attacks and up to 30 air strikes, as well as opening fire from multiple-launch rocket systems more than 100 times; more than 40 cities, towns and villages came under fire, including the southeastern city of Dnipro and the surrounding region, the town of Prykolotne in the northeastern Kharkiv Oblast, and the town of Velyka Oleksandrivka in the southern Kherson Oblast, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

Wednesday is day 245 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 


Source: PAP, understandingwar.org, UK Ministry of Defencepravda.com.ua