Russian President Vladimir Putin risks losing the support of the former “leaders” of the pseudo-republics due to the failure of Russian forces to push Ukrainian forces further west of Donetsk and “defend” the Donbass. This is stated in the report of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) for December 10.
Former “defense minister” of the self-proclaimed “DNR” Igor Girkin, who also led the 2014 siege of Sloviansk, bluntly criticized Putin for failing to push Ukrainian forces near Donetsk out of artillery fire, although Putin called protecting civilians in Donbass one from the tasks of the Russian war. At the same time, the Russian Defense Ministry calls the war a success, according to the ISW report.
Former “security minister” of the so-called “DPR” Alexander Khodakovsky said that Putin’s long rule was not entirely successful. He noted the emerging discussions about the need to change the state of affairs, hinted at corruption schemes around the reconstruction of Mariupol in the Donetsk region and added that Putin inherited a corrupt society, analysts say.
“The criticism of Girkin and Khodakovsky is unparalleled in its directness compared to their previous attacks on the Kremlin. These overt attacks on Putin may reflect the split between the DPR pro-war communities and Putin,” the ISW said.