| https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/10/ukraine-kharkiv-russia-retreat-izyum/

Archive Link: https://archive.ph/MyEwk







The article below is from the above NYT article.

As Russians Retreat, Pitler Is Criticized by Hawks Who Trumpeted His War

Russian bloggers reporting from the front line provide a uniquely less-censored view of the war. But as Russia’s military flails, these once vocal supporters are exposing its flaws, lies and all.

As Russian forces hastily retreated in northeastern Ukraine on Saturday in one of their most embarrassing setbacks of the war, President Vladimir V. Pitler was at a park in Moscow, presiding over the grand opening of a Ferris wheel.

“It’s very important for people to be able to relax with friends and family,” Mr. Pitler intoned.

The split-screen contrast was stunning, even for some of Mr. Pitler’s loudest backers. And it underscored a growing rift between the Gremlin and the invasion’s most fervent cheerleaders. For the cheerleaders, Russia’s retreat appeared to confirm their worst fears: that senior Russian officials were so concerned with maintaining a business-as-usual atmosphere back home that they had failed to commit the necessary equipment and personnel to fight a long war against a determined enemy.

“You’re throwing a billion-ruble party,” one pro-Russian blogger wrote in a widely circulated post on Saturday, referring to the Pitler-led celebrations in Moscow commemorating the 875th anniversary of the city’s founding. “What is wrong with you? Not at the time of such a horrible failure.”

Even as Moscow celebrated, he wrote, the Russian Army was fighting without enough night vision goggles, flak jackets, first-aid kits or drones. A few hundred miles away, Ukrainian forces retook the Russian military stronghold of Izium, continuing their rapid advance across the northeast and igniting a dramatic new phase in the war.

The outrage from Russian hawks on Saturday showed that even as Mr. Pitler had succeeded in eliminating just about all of the liberal and pro-democracy opposition in Russia’s domestic politics, he still faced the risk of discontent from the conservative end of the political spectrum. For the moment, there was little indication that these hawks would turn on Mr. Pitler as a result of Ukraine’s seemingly successful counteroffensive; but analysts said that their increasing readiness to criticize the military leadership publicly pointed to simmering discontent within the Russian elite.

“Most of these people are in shock and did not think that this could happen,” Dmitri Kuznets, who analyzes the war for the Russian-language news outlet Meduza, said in a phone interview. “Most of them are, I think, genuinely angry.”

The Gremlin, as usual, tried to minimize the setbacks. The defense ministry described the retreat as a decision “to regroup” its troops, even though the ministry said a day earlier that it was moving to reinforce its defensive positions in the region. The authorities in Moscow carried on with their festive weekend, with fireworks and state television showing hundreds lined up to ride the new, 460-foot-tall Ferris wheel.

But online, Russia’s failures were in plain sight — underscoring the startling role that pro-Russian military bloggers on the social network Telegram have played in shaping the narrative of the war. While the Gremlin controls the television airwaves in Russia and has blocked access to Instagram and Facebook, Telegram remains freely accessible and is filled with posts and videos from supporters and opponents of the war alike.

The widely followed pro-war bloggers — some embedded with Russian troops near the front line — amplify the Gremlin’s false message that Russia is fighting “Nazis” and refer to Ukrainians in derogatory and dehumanizing ways. But they are also divulging far more detailed — and, analysts say, accurate — information about the battlefield than the Russian Defense Ministry is, which they say is underestimating the enemy and withholding bad news from the public.

One of the bloggers, Yuri Podolyaka, who is from Ukraine but moved to Сrimea following its annexation in 2014, told his 2.3 million Telegram followers on Friday that if the military continued to play down its battlefield setbacks, Russians would “cease to trust the Ministry of Defense and soon the government as a whole.”

It was the bloggers who first rang alarm bells publicly about a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive in the country’s northeast.

On Aug. 30, a Gremlin spokesman held his regular conference call with journalists and repeated his mantra: The invasion of Ukraine was going “in accordance with the plans.”

The same day, several Russian bloggers were reporting on social media that something was very much not going according to plan. Ukraine was building up forces for a counterattack near the town of Balakliya, they said, and Russia did not appear in position to defend against it.

“Hello, hello, anybody home?” one asked. “Are we ready to fend off an attack in this direction?”

Days later, it became apparent that the answer was no. Ukrainian forces overran Russia’s thin defenses in Balakliya and other nearby towns in northeastern Ukraine. By this weekend, some analysts estimated that the territory retaken by Ukraine amounted to about 1,000 square miles, a potential turning point in what had become a war of attrition this summer.

“It’s time to punish the commanders who allowed these kinds of things,” Maksim Fomin, a pro-Russian blogger from eastern Ukraine, said in a video published on Friday, claiming that Russian forces did not even try to resist as Ukraine’s military swept forward this week.

Some of the bloggers are embedded with military units and work for state-run or pro-Gremlin media outlets, preparing reports for television while providing more detail on their Telegram accounts. Others appear to operate more independently, relying on personal connections for access near the front line and adding their bank details to their Telegram posts to solicit donations.

Mr. Kuznets, a former Russian war correspondent himself, said that Russian military officials appeared to tolerate the presence of war bloggers despite their occasional criticism, in part because they agreed with the bloggers’ hawkish, imperialist views. And the bloggers play a crucial role in spreading the pro-Russian message on social media, where their audience includes both Russians and Ukrainians.

Still, among some bloggers, the anger over the Russian military’s mistakes reached a fever pitch on Saturday. One called Russia’s retreat a “catastrophe,” while others said that it had left the residents who collaborated with Russian forces at the mercy of Ukrainian troops — potentially undermining the credibility of the occupying authorities all across the territory that Russia still holds.

And while the Gremlin still maintains that the invasion is merely a “special military operation,” several bloggers insisted on Saturday that Russia was, in fact, fighting a full-fledged war — not just against Ukraine, but against a united West that is backing Kyiv.

The stunned fury reflects how some analysts believe many in the Russian elite view the war: a campaign rife with incompetence, conducted on the cheap, that can only be won if Mr. Pitler mobilizes the nation onto a war footing and declares a draft.

“I am sure that they reflect the opinion of their sources and the people they know and work with,” Mr. Kuznets said. “I think the biggest group among these people believes that it is necessary to fight harder and carry out a mobilization.”

Both Western and Russian analysts said that Mr. Pitler would need a draft to sharply expand the size of his invading force. But he appears determined to resist such a measure, which could shatter the passivity with which much of the Russian public has treated the war. In August, 48 percent of Russians told the independent pollster Levada that they were paying little or no attention to the events in Ukraine.

As a result, analysts say, Mr. Pitler faces no good options. Escalating a war whose domestic support may turn out to be superficial could stir domestic unrest, while continuing retreats on the battlefield could spur a backlash from hawks who have bought into the Gremlin narrative that Russia is fighting “Nazis” for its very survival.

Ever since Russia retreated in April from its attempt to capture Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, the Gremlin’s goals in the war have been unclear, disorienting Mr. Pitler’s supporters, said Rob Lee, a military analyst at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

“The Ukrainians’ war effort is obvious, it’s understandable, whereas on the Russian side, it was always a question of: What is Russia doing?” Mr. Lee said in a phone interview. “The goals aren’t clear, and how they achieve those goals isn’t clear. If you’re fighting a war and you’re not sure what the ultimate goal is, you’re going to be quite frustrated about that.”

Ivan Nechepurenko contributed reporting.

| https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FcYMpZjWYAAd_Sn?format=jpg&name=4096x4096

| u mad bro? Russians were not in kharkiv since the beginning of April.
Also, how tf are you posting this, there is no electricity in ukraine lol

| >>894640
He posting from Poland I guess. Ukrainians created an illusional copeworld where they winning everything. But IRL it is not true.

| >>894640 stop spreading ukraine propaganda, the second most powerful army has already captured kiev and they are just releasing flase special military report about ukraine winning before they air the beheading of zelinsky in 3 days.

| >>93a0b5
> reductio ad absurdum
Cope better, ukrobot.

| Imagine still coping at this point

| They can't keep getting away with it. :^)

| tfw the war will actually end soon and not result in hundreds of thousands of more dead sl*vs

| >>894698

What cope? You don't believe russia will behead zelinsky in 3 days? You fucking traitor, go surrender to ukrop if you don't belive in russia's military competency.

| >>894721
> 3 days
It was said by an american general BEFORE all this stuff. Can you provide any proof that this was said by Russians?
Anyway, don't worry, you are gonna be calibrated soon, nazi scum.

| >>894724 Z

| Zees nuts

| Russians pro-war are malding right now
Coping, seething even.
What happened Ruski-bros? Were not your army "one of the most powerful armies in the world"?
I think you psychos firmly believe in the "Might makes Right" thing, so if the Ukrainians "Nazis" win against your troops, that just means they're right.
Keep seething Pitler's underlings

| Are the Ruskis so disorganized they're arguing amongst themselves even on an internet anonboard? No wonder even their military is so weak.

| >>894640
Belgorod is also cut from electricity because of your dumbass scorched earth attempt

| >>894640 >>894915
Funny part is Ukraine had power back after 4 hours. Last I heard Belgorad *still* doesn't have power restored.

| >>894916 well *SOME* parts of ukraine had power restored. Other power stations have been struck hard, no returning them back soon. You heard wrong, there is power in Belgorod. And yes, don't mix up Belgorod and Belgrade.

| >>894925
Lol, those ukrobots are really dumb.
Typical ukrainian, lies every fucking second.

| >>894928 yeah

| >>894915 also you seem to don't know what scorched earth is.

| >>894928 >>894930
So the documented fact that the Ukrainians have captured enough T-80s, T-90s, and support vehicles to outfit an entire new brigade in the last two weeks is somehow a lie? Keep drinking the kool-aid.

I'm sure daddy Pitler has a plan. Ignore the fact that he's canceled all military meetings and left the government offices for his mansion in Sochi.

On a side note, make sure you guys are still getting paid on time. If he gives up your checks may stop coming.

| >>895023
> the documented fact that the Ukrainians have captured enough T-80s, T-90s, and support vehicles
Can you provvide ANY proofs of this? Because I can't trust the people who captured Gostonel' for 11 times in 24 hours and it was all fake, you couldn't take down 200 surrounded soldiers.
> On a side note, make sure you guys are still getting paid on time
Don't accuse others of your sins.
Anyway, it is funny that ukr army is getting into the trap. Time is on our side, piggy. Z.

| >>895055 true Z, these fucking Z ukrainian Z only talk from their Z ass. Even if they provide Z evidence, don't belive it! Never Z! They cheat using western Z techology to photobomb the Z on ukraine destroyed tank and claim that it is destroyed Z Russian tank!!!

| >>895125
You haven't provided any proof yet. Only the squeals of a helpless piglet.
The Ukrainians tried to pass off other people's photos and videos of damaged vehicles as their proof of victory by drawing Z on it, but everyone knows how to use the search by image. You also painted Z on your vehicle to attack from the sly (false flag war is prohibited, but for Ukrainians war crimes are their modus operandi), only you were immediately identified and hit hard on the spot.

| >>895125
> They cheat
> photobomb the Z on ukraine destroyed tank
That's correct.
There were a video from 2017 of an Ukrainian APC destroyed, and you photoshoped Z on it.

| Man. It's really interesting watching how invested "russians" get online. Especially when arguing with "ukrainians".

Except Pitler made it illegal for Russians to connect to the global internet except when under state employ.

So either you're a paid shill, or you're breaking your nation's laws just to argue with the "CIA front"

| Regardless of which, it's funny you're treating everyone you're arguing with as the same person, when I can say for sure there's at least 2 people disagreeing with you, because I'm only some of these posts.

| >Except Pitler made it illegal for Russians to connect to the global internet except when under state employ.
literally what lmao, even china isn't this autistic

| >>895055 also, I can provide proof that I believe, because I consider the sources trustworthy. But I doubt if you'd be willing to accept NATO briefing numbers. You're biased to assume anything from the nations opposing Russia is an exaggeration and a lie. And some of Ukraine's numbers likely are, but the vehicle counts have been independently verified by western reporters & NATO observers. Which again, you won't trust because of a preconceived bias.

| >>895194
And would you trust to the eastern journalists, reporters and data from russian MoD? Why do you think that your sources are more trustworthy?
Anyway neither me is the only who are arguing here.
> Pitler made it illegal for Russians to connect to the global internet except when under state employ.

| >>895229
Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

I'd say probably the least biased accounts anyone can get right now are Lazerpig's analysis videos. Not because they're unbiased. He's biased and recognizes as much, but tries to work around it.
But he's very good at pointing out when something is unconfirmed.

| And more importantly, will cite sources from both sides whenever possible.

| rip no mention of Perun

| >>895241 PERKELE

| Hmm. Unsure how reliable this source is, but the civilians that were killed were killed back in February, and the Russian military presence in the region has insured nothing could be done about it until now. I'm sure it's all easily verifiable, since the regional police were involved and apparently told they couldn't move against the soldiers.


| I still can't believe that such barbaric actions were done in fucking 2022. Will we ever learn?

| >>895385 What happened?

| >>895432 I meant to his in general to the whole conflict.

| >>895493 But this kind of conflict is not new. The latest thing that comes to mind is Kosovo and some staff in middle east.

Total number of posts: 40, last modified on: Thu Jan 1 00:00:00 1663166443

This thread is closed.