Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu should consider committing suicide because of the disgraceful defeats in Ukraine, said Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-appointed deputy head of the annexed Kherson region, Reuters reported, citing BTA.
Public criticism of Russia’s once-taboo senior military leadership is on the rise after two allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed displeasure at what they say is the incompetent way the war is being waged.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and the founder of the mercenary company Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, recently said that the Russian army is plagued by cronyism and that senior officers should be pardoned and sent to the front to atone for their sins.
Stremousov criticized the “generals and ministers” in Moscow for not being able to understand the problems at the front.
“In fact, many say: if I were the minister of defense and if I had allowed such a situation, as an officer I would have shot myself,” he said in a video message. “But you know that the word ‘officer’ is incomprehensible to many,” Stremousov said.
Stremousov’s comments are a surprising public affront to Russia’s top military leadership after Russian forces have suffered a number of recent battlefield losses in Ukraine.
Many Russian nationalists criticize Shoigu and the senior military for everything from poor planning and weak logistics to outdated tactics and losing the information war despite significant investment under Putin.
Last week, two retired generals who are now members of the State Duma from the ruling United Russia party joined critics in accusing the defense ministry of corruption.
Stremousov praised Kadyrov and expressed the opinion that Moscow will soon sort out the problems.