On Sunday, Russian nationalists called President Vladimir Putin angrily asking for immediate changes to ensure victory in the Ukraine conflict. This happened just days after Moscow had to leave its main base in northeastern Ukraine.
Russia suffered its most severe military defeat since March when it was forced from Kyiv to withdraw its troops.
Russian forces departed town after town on Saturday, 10 September. Putin inaugurated Europe’s largest ferris wheel in a Moscow park. Red Square was lit up with fireworks to mark its 1147 founding.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chech forces and an ally to Putin, dismissed the loss of Izium in a voice message that he posted to Telegram.
He acknowledged that things weren’t going as planned.
Kadyrov stated that if there are not any changes in the conduct of or management of special military operations, then I will have to report to the leadership of the country explaining the situation on the ground.”
Moscow’s almost complete silence regarding the defeat angered some pro-war commentators as well as Russian nationalists online.
On Friday (9 September), the Russian defense ministry uploaded footage of troops that were sent to Kharkiv during defeats.
According to the defense ministry, Russian forces attacked Ukrainian positions with missiles and airborne troops.
MOSCOW IS SILENT
At Sunday noon, neither Putin nor Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces, had made any comments about the defeat.
A Kremlin transcript says that Putin stated that Moscow was a source for pride and that he loves the city.
Putin expressed shock at hearing East German KGB spy tell him that Moscow was “silent” after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He stated that Russia had paid the ultimate sacrifice for those who were killed in Ukraine.
The defense ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
Rybar, a pro-war military blogger who blogs on Telegram under the pseudonym Rybar, said that “they’re taking it out”.
“It’s not the right time for you to remain silent and do nothing… This is a grave offense to the cause.
On Saturday, the ministry announced a “regrouping” that would move troops from Kharkiv to Donetsk, in the east of Ukraine. Many Russian military bloggers were more furious at this statement.
Telegram has a large following of former and current servicemen who accuse the ministry to minimizing defeat.
Igor Girkin, a militant nationalist who was formerly a FSB officer, is now a fugitive. He was instrumental in the 2014 war against Ukraine’s eastern Donbas.
Ukraine hails the rapid advance of thousands upon thousands of Russian soldiers that left behind ammunition stockpiles and equipment as a turning point in the six-month-old war.
Girkin repeatedly stated that Russia would defeat Ukraine if it doesn’t declare a nationwide mobilisation.
The Kremlin might be more trouble from nationalist anger at military failure than pro Western liberal criticisms about Putin. But, opinion polls continue to support Moscow’s “specially military operation”.
Moscow Day was celebrated with street parties and concerts in the capital. Even Russia’s subservient parliament was affected by the disturbances.
Sergei Mironov, leader of the Putin-loyal Just Russia Party and nominally against Putin, stated via Twitter that fireworks should not be displayed in honor of the holiday due to the military situation.
Telegram‘s prominent correspondent for war Semyon Pergov posted an email that called the Moscow celebrations “blasphemous”, while calling the refusal of Russian authorities to enter full scale war “schizophrenic”.
It stated that Russia would either create its own political elite by forming new ones or cease to exist.