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ISW: Russia’s MoD attempts to silence Russian milbloggers amid military criticism

The Russian MoD’s attempt to silence Russian milbloggers’ concerns over the alleged mistreatment of a Russian brigade operating in occupied Kherson Oblast appears to have been unsuccessful, sparking further criticism from the ultranationalist community, ISW reported
ISW: Russia’s MoD attempts to silence Russian milbloggers amid military criticism

On 26 August, a Russian state-affiliated war correspondent released a video claiming to show five Russian servicemen from the 205th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (49th Combined Arms Army, Southern Military District) currently deployed in a trench on the Dnipro River delta islands.

The servicemen requested that Russian milbloggers cease disseminating complaints on social media regarding the brigade’s alleged absence of artillery support. They also accused Russian milbloggers of adversely impacting the brigade’s operations in the delta region. Additionally, the servicemen urged milbloggers to actively engage on the frontlines if they aimed to contribute to the Russian war effort.

On 25 and 26 August, the Institute for the Study of War reported that Russian milbloggers asserted that elements of the 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade were facing substantial casualties due to Ukrainian artillery fire on an island in the Kherson direction. Furthermore, they alleged that commanders neglected the personnel’s appeals for artillery fire support.

Responding to the appeal, some Russian milbloggers reacted and contended that the video was clearly staged to deflect attention from criticisms aimed at the brigade’s leadership and the Russian MoD.

Russian milbloggers claim that the servicemen were wearing new uniforms, which bloggers note is inconsistent with claims that these servicemen are fighting in trenches.

“The Russian MoD had consistently tried throughout the full-scale invasion to silence criticisms in the Russian information space by accusing Russian milbloggers of violating Russian operational security,” ISW concluded.

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