Putin’s War: Former Russian Colonel Contradicts Earlier Statements Criticizing Russia’s Military Operations

Putin’s War: Former Russian Colonel Contradicts Earlier Statements Criticizing Russia’s Military Operations

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53 min agoFormer Russian colonel contradicts earlier statements criticizing Russia’s military operations in UkraineFrom CNN’s Katya Krebs and Hira Humayun

Retired Russian colonel Mikhail Khodarenok speaks on Russian state TV on Wednesday. (Rossiya One)Retired Russian colonel Mikhail Khodarenok said any talk about Ukraine being able to counterattack is a “big exaggeration,” just a day after he criticized Russia’s military operations in Ukraine saying the situation for Russia could “get worse.”

Speaking to a Russian state TV channel on Wednesday, Khodarenok said, “When people talk about Ukraine acquiring the ability to counterattack, well it’s a big exaggeration. And as concerns the actions of our supreme command, there is every reason to believe that the implementation of these plans will in the very near future give Ukraine an unpleasant surprise.”He also said it would be impossible for the Ukrainian armed forces to gain aerial supremacy in the next few months, and in terms of gaining naval supremacy, he said, “while our Black Sea Fleet is in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s Black Sea Fleet having supremacy is out of the question.”

On Tuesday however, Khodarenok said information being spread about a “moral or psychological breakdown” of Ukrainian armed forces is not even “close to reality.” He also said Ukraine could arm 1 million people, and that Russia needs to consider that in its operational and strategic calculations.

“The situation for us, will frankly get worse,” he said on Tuesday. He also criticized Russia’s geopolitical isolation from the world, and prior to the invasion he warned that it would be more difficult than many anticipated to wage war in Ukraine.

Earlier reporting from CNN’s Tim Lister, Anastasia Graham Yooll and Taras Zadorozhnyy.

1 hr 6 min agoSetbacks in Ukraine trigger rare criticism of Russia’s war effort by Russian bloggersFrom CNN’s Tim Lister and Taras Zadorozhnyy

 A local resident looks at a destroyed Russian tank next to a house in the village of Mala Rogan, east of Kharkiv, on May 15. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images)The Russian army’s performance in Ukraine has been less than impressive according to Western intelligence assessments — and that viewpoint is gaining ground among some in Russia itself.

Three Russian military bloggers have suddenly launched into damning criticism of the operation, and especially the debacle of a failed crossing of the Siverskyi Donets river last week. The three bloggers combined have more than 3 million subscribers on Telegram.

A prominent former officer who regularly appears on state television also weighed in with a gloomy view of Russia’s military prospects in Ukraine.

Such public criticism of the military operation in Ukraine is very rare. The Kremlin insists the campaign is on schedule.

The carping appears to have been triggered by a catalog of setbacks, the worst being the disastrous attempts to cross the Siverskyi Donets crossing last week. Satellite imagery shows at least 70 Russian armored vehicles and tanks were destroyed and hundreds of soldiers may have been killed.

On the evening of May 12, prominent Russian military correspondent Yuri Kotenok reposted accounts and images of the failed crossing, including one from a Ukrainian source.

Kotenok, who has nearly 300,000 subscribers to his Telegram channel, reposted one account that castigated the Russian officer responsible and blamed him for crowding

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Putin’s war: Former Russian colonel contradicts earlier statements criticizing Russia’s military operations

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