Families of Russians killed on the cruiser Moskva are threatened with losing their state pension if they speak publicly about the ship’s sinking. And there is increasing criticism of the lack of training given to new recruits, some of whom were sent to the battlefront.
The Institute for the Study of War, an American think tank on defense affairs (ISW), reports, in its most recent analysis of the conflict in Ukraine, that there are growing signs of discontent in Russia over casualties. that their forces are suffering, and the lack of information about missing or deceased soldiers. The climate of discontent, adds the ISW, is also exacerbated by the forced mobilization taking place in Lugansk and Donetsk, the two pro-Russian breakaway republics in Donbass.
“The Kremlin’s efforts to censor information about deceased military personnel and the ongoing forced mobilization in the DNR [Donetsk] and LNR [Lugansk] are allegedly exacerbating domestic tensions and opposition to the war in Russia,” the US analysts write.
One of the examples of the difficulty in dealing with the discontent of ordinary Russians is the family members of the military who were aboard the ship Moskva, which was sunk by the Ukrainians in the Black Sea. According to information from the Directorate of Ukrainian Military Intelligence (GUR), and quoted by the ISW, “the Kremlin has appointed lawyers and psychologists to convince the families of the personnel of the sunken cruiser Moskva to refrain from revealing any information about the death of their relatives in an effort to crush the growing social tensions in Russia”.
According to the GUR, “the Kremlin threatens to cancel the financial compensation to the families of the Moskva crew members if they publicly discuss the sinking of the cruiser”. In protest against this threat, some family members reportedly refused to meet with Black Sea Fleet commanders in Sevastopol.
Meanwhile, in the People’s Republic of Donetsk, the authorities have amended recruiting mobilization protocols, and are now pledging compensation for wounded and deceased personnel, following disturbances among the military on the front lines.
New recruits trained with a focus on Ukraine
Another focus of internal conflict in Russia pointed out by the Institute for the Study of War is complaints about mistreatment and lack of preparation among Russian combat forces, namely recruits. The atmosphere of discontent will “probably lead the Kremlin to take rhetorical measures to contain the discontent”, writes the think tank.
“Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that new recruits during the summer training period will be trained with specific attention to lessons learned so far in Ukraine,” reveals last night’s report, referring to a meeting with the Center of National Defense Management (NDCC) that took place on the same day. “Shoigu added that summer recruits will learn first aid on the battlefield, likely responding to criticism from members of the Russian military community about poor tactics and lack of first aid acumen among Russian soldiers. However, the Russian military is unlikely to properly train and equip Russian recruits hastily sent to the front as replacements, and are likely to seek primarily to appease public discontent.”
It is recalled that, also in response to criticism about sending recruits to the front, the Russian Army announced yesterday that it had punished a dozen officers. According to El Mundo, they were blamed for sending 600 recruits to the front in Ukraine, a situation that should not have happened and that Vladimir Putin has already recognized. Among the disciplinary measures adopted is the expulsion of these officers from the Armed Forces.
Source: With Agencies