The government is “teasing the tiger” with its attitude, the former deputy secretary of the security council has warned
Ukrainian frontline troops are disgruntled with the way Kiev is handling the ongoing conflict with Russia, including the gaslighting it engages in via the national media, retired Gen. Sergey Krivonos warned on Monday. Soldiers wonder why they must shed blood on behalf of an uncaring government, he claimed.
Krivonos is a critic of President Vladimir Zelensky, who sacked him from the National Security and Defense Council in late 2020 for allegedly not being a team player. The commander, who has since left the military, allegedly under pressure, blasted what he perceives to be a disconnect between the government and the military. He was interviewed by Priamyi, a TV channel that currently broadcasts only online that is historically associated with the country’s former president Pyotr Poroshenko.
The general said Kiev was “teasing the tiger” with its treatment of troops, who, he warned “may act quite harshly” in response.
“There are not cemeteries, but entire burial fields. People on the frontline take such things to heart and they do not accept shades of gray. For them, there is either black or white,” he said.
The Russian Defense Ministry has estimated Ukrainian losses between June and November at over 125,000 troops. Kiev does not report its casualties, but Western media say that they must be steep, judging by the rapidly expanding graveyards and other circumstantial evidence.
Kiev is running out of career military and is struggling to conscript soldiers, since civilians “are less than eager to fight for a military and national government that is viewed as rife with corruption and incompetence,” the Washington Post reported last week.
Krivonos cited a recent announcement by the Ukrainian state-owned railway operator that seasonal trains would be on offer for people visiting ski resorts as an example of what irritates troops. He believes the country needs to go into total war mode and accused Zelensky of failing to do so due for fear of losing popularity.
The Zelensky government has contributed to the problem by using the state-controlled “television marathon” – the only programming on the air – to gaslight the public, the general said. He called the content “one of the worst manipulations” of the Ukrainian people.
Another problem is tolerance of graft, he alleged. People who empty their pockets buying overpriced eggs should not get farewell applause from MPs and disappear into the night, he said in a clear nod to Aleksey Reznikov. The former defense minister was sacked in September, months after a scandal erupted over the procurement of overpriced food for troops by his department.
‘Reznikov’s eggs’ reports became the subject of gallows humor in Ukrainian trenches.
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