WAR IN UKRAINE
Russian failures fuelled by Vladimir Putin’s meddling
The president and General Valery Gerasimov are accused of dictating basic troop movements
A source compared the micromanagement of President Putin and General Valery Gerasimov to that the founder of Amazon, noting that “Jeff Bezos doesn’t deliver your parcels”
President Putin is making low-level tactical decisions that would normally be decided by an officer in charge of as few as 700 Russian troops, western military sources say.
A military source said that Putin and General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff, were dictating basic movements of their forces in Ukraine.
“We think Putin and Gerasimov are involved in tactical decision-making at a level we would normally expect to be taken by a colonel or a brigadier”, the source said.
He added that it was believed Putin’s most senior general was still “up and running” despite claims that he had been suspended after military failures.
A second military source said that in the Russian military, a colonel or brigadier would normally command the equivalent of two battalion tactical groups (BTGs), each comprising approximately 900 personnel. However, the source said that the Russian BTGs had been “battered” and that “if Putin is doing the job of a brigade commander . . . he could be delving into a force that could be as small as 700 to 1,000 soldiers”.
He compared the situation to the founder of Amazon. “Jeff Bezos doesn’t deliver your parcels, he makes strategy decisions,” the source said.
Western sources believe that Putin’s micromanagement of the war could be contributing to the military failures in the Donbas region
, where Russian troops are failing to take cities
Putin, a former KGB officer, revealed several years ago that he commanded an artillery battalion during the Soviet era. “I received the rank of lieutenant as an artilleryman, as the commander of a howitzer artillery battalion . . . 122mm [calibre],” he said during a visit to Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, according to video posted by the Kremlin.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, head of Britain’s armed forces, said in parliament yesterday that Ukraine was winning the war against Russia because it was an “existential fight for its nation”. He said he believed that the survival of the Kyiv administration was guaranteed.
, also known as Igor Strelkov, a former FSB agent who orchestrated the annexation of Crimea in 2014, said in comments circulated on social media that Russia’s operation in Donbas had failed. “In more than two weeks of fierce hostilities, only tactical successes have been reached,” he wrote.