It was an old gag in WWII that if a German officer was impatient with somebody and got into threatening mode, his words were, “I’ll send you to the Russian front.” From what is being heard nowadays in the Kremlin, being at the Russian front, i.e., fighting in Ukraine, might be preferable to being with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. At least in Ukraine there is the possibility of desertion and being taken in by the nice Ukrainian people. No such solace and comfort appears available to those closest to Putin right now, as he creates a scenario which a whistleblower describes as “like Germany in 1943-44 — but that’s our starting position.” The Times Of London:
A report thought to be by an analyst in the FSB, the successor agency to the KGB, said that the Russian dead could already number 10,000. The Russian defence ministry has acknowledged the deaths of only 498 of its soldiers in Ukraine.
The report said the FSB was being blamed for the failure of the invasion but had been given no warning of it and was unprepared to deal with the effects of crippling sanctions.
The whistleblower added that no one in the government knew the true figure of the dead because “we have lost contact with major divisions”.
And of course, that’s only the beginning. It gets worse.
The letter said that Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader and an ally of Putin, was on the verge of outright conflict with the Russians after his “hit squad”, sent to kill President Zelensky, was destroyed by Ukrainian forces.
Even if Zelensky were killed, the report said, Russia would have no hope of occupying Ukraine. “Even with minimum resistance from the Ukrainians we’d need over 500,000 people, not including supply and logistics workers.”
The FSB is run by one of Putin’s old KGB buddies, Alexander Bortnikov. They were KGB officers together in Leningrad in the 70’s. If he didn’t leak this out, he might know who did. I’m sure he’ll be the first Putin will call when this story leading to the British press gets back to the Kremlin, if it hasn’t already. The 2,000-word document was published by Vladimir Osechkin, a Russian human rights activist who runs the anti-corruption website Gulagu.net.
The war, the writer said, had been given a “provisional deadline” of June because by then the Russian economy will have collapsed. “I have hardly slept at all recently, working all hours, in a brain-fog,” they wrote. “Maybe it’s from overwork, but I feel like I am in a surreal world. Pandora’s Box has been opened.”
The author said they could not rule out international conflict and that they were expecting “some f***ing adviser to convince the leadership” to send an ultimatum to the West threatening war if sanctions were not lifted.
“What if the West refuses?” they wrote. “In that instance I won’t exclude that we will be pulled into a real international conflict, just like Hitler in 1939.” Elsewhere in the letter they said: “Our position is like Germany in 1943-44 — but that’s our starting position.”
Sergiy Kyslytsya, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United Nations, has already suggested to Putin that if he had a death wish he go to a bunker and do what Adolf Hitler did. That way both the Ukrainian and Russian people could have some peace. Nice thought, but it won’t happen. Things are crazy now and will get crazier still.