Russian soldier's live-streamed dissent triggers harsh consequences, fuels military mistrust
Russian soldiers have frequently demonstrated during this war that they are not among the best-equipped armies in the world. Echoing this reality, a Russian volunteer - who had just returned from service - broadcast his dissenting views live after a drink with a friend.
Messing with the army in Russia is a grave affair that carries serious consequences - something the man soon realized. The aftermath of his actions? An imposed apology, a penalty fine of 90,000 rubles (roughly $1,179), and a non-option to return to the battlefield.
What sparked such behavior from the soldier? Russian soldiers have repeatedly exhibited dissatisfaction with their superiors, often pointing out inadequate provision of essential equipment and food. In 2023, the army issued a statement acknowledging that their massive group had dwindled to a mere handful of soldiers.
This lack of necessary support perhaps explains why Russian soldiers made basic errors during warfare. A few months ago, journalist Wiktor Kowalenko reported an instance where the Russian air defense accidentally shot down their own Mi-8 helicopter, tragically resulting in the death of the three-person crew.
"They plummeted into the sea. It's not the first instance of Russians inflicting so-called friendly fire on their own aircraft," Kowalenko pointed out on the X platform (formerly Twitter).
Could Putin reconsider his stance on Ukraine?
Last Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Putin had been exploring whether Washington might be open to discussing the Ukraine issue. He had contacted the United States through indirect channels.
Sources associated with the Kremlin suggest that Putin "may be willing to review his insistence on maintaining Ukraine's neutral status, and perhaps even withdraw his objection towards its potential NATO membership".
"No, these are misguided reports. They do not match reality," countered Kremlin spokesman Peskov.
However, can we trust the Kremlin's spokesperson? We indeed have reasons to be skeptical of Peskov's words.