Attribution to Kremlin.ru
It is only Tuesday but, Vlad is already having a pretty bad week. First, a number of Russian radio and tv stations bordering Ukraine were hacked. The stations aired a broadcast, supposedly by Putin himself (his image on tv) saying,
“Ukrainian troops armed to the teeth by NATO and with Washington’s consent and support have invaded the Kursk, Belgorod and Bryansk.”
In the broadcast, citizens were told that martial law had been declared and evacuations were underway. The broadcast included a recording from the Ukrainian Minister of Defense showing heavily armed troops looking into the camera with fingers to their lips, accompanied by the following message,
“Plans like silence. There will be no announcement that ‘it’s starting.’”
The message was in referral to the rumors that a Ukrainian counter-offensive would be beginning soon.
As bad as the hack was, things got worse for Putin. Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group of mercenaries has been having a running feud with Putin and has been doing so with impunity. According to Igor Strelkov, a retired Russian Special Operations Officer and now a military blogger
“Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose subordinates posted a video in which they mock a senior officer and an entire brigade commander … is allowed to do whatever he wants. He is considered as the highest caste!”
In the latest affront to Putin, the Wagner Group captured a Russian commander who confessed on video that, while drunk, the commander ordered Russian regular army troops to fire on a Wagner convoy, due to his personal dislike for Prigozhin.
Putin’s special incursion into Ukraine is turning into a national and personal nightmare for Putin. As mentioned, in a previous chirp, the concern is how Putin, now a cornered rat, will react.