Serge Chugo’s alleged visit to Ukraine – distrust of the top management

Serge Chugo’s alleged visit to Ukraine – distrust of the top management

On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry released a video clip of what is supposed to show the rare visit.

It allegedly shows Sergei Shoigu in Donetsk, where he allegedly handed out medals, inspected a checkpoint and received an update on the situation on the ground.

Dagbladet was unable to geolocate the video. The West estimates that Russian forces suffered heavy losses in the province where they are allegedly recorded.

The Battle of Bakhmut is one of the longest and bloodiest battles to date, and the Russians are said to have suffered heavy losses at Voldar.

Ministerial Visit: The still from the video is supposed to show Sergei Shoigu during an alleged inspection of a Russian command post. Photo: Russian Defense Ministry via Reuters/NTB
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I think the upper management lacks confidence

The Russian Defense Minister has received heavy criticism from several quarters for the shortcomings of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russian “hawks” often describe him as ignorant of the facts on the battlefield.

A well-directed radio visit to the front line can be interpreted as a response to this criticism.

It could also indicate, think thinktank analysts Institute for the Study of War (ISW)that the Department of Defense lacked confidence in the top management for the invasion.

The video shows Sergei Sjogo in a meeting with three key officers; Lieutenant Generals Mikhail Mezentsev, Sergey Rudskoy and Rustam Muradov. Chief of Defense Valery Gerasimov, the commander-in-chief of forces in Ukraine, is conspicuous by his absence.

Not in the video: The Russian Defense Minister is not in the Russian Defense Ministry's videotape of the alleged visit to Donetsk.  Photo: Sputnik via Reuters/NTB

Not in the video: The Russian Defense Minister is not in the Russian Defense Ministry’s videotape of the alleged visit to Donetsk. Photo: Sputnik via Reuters/NTB
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– The commanders of the Russian military districts report to Gerasimov on operational issues. Sjojgu’s solo visit appears to be undermining him, the ISW writes.

The chief of defense visited the front in eastern Ukraine in May last year. Then experts called it “extremely abnormal.”

He is supposed to be one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies, and one of the few insiders in the decision to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, but he was not then the commander-in-chief of the war.

– The next thing is to send Putin forward. Retired First Lieutenant Arne Bord-Dalhough told Dagbladet that this testified to very serious problems, which he had to see with his own eyes.

However, he was convinced that the then Commander-in-Chief of the War, Alexander Dvornikov, was part of the traveling party, even if it was not visible.

– He said there is usually on such a visit.

Concerned about Chinese weapons

Concerned about Chinese weapons


It serves multiple functions

According to Dalhoge, the main function of these visits is twofold:

It often has a motivational function demonstrated by a high-ranking officer. In addition, it is necessary to form a separate picture of what is going on, and whether any problems can be dealt with.

In recent weeks, the Russian forces have tightened their grip on the city of Bakhmut, after great effort and heavy losses, mainly led by soldiers from the Wagner Mercenary Group. Otherwise, large sections of the long front line in Donbass are about the same as they were three months ago.

ISW also highlights the presence of Rustam Muradov in the video.

He commands the Russians’ eastern military district, and is responsible for heavy losses in recent months around Ukrainian-held Voldar.

Losses may have caused great damage to his reputation. So Shogo may also have visited western Donetsk to assess Muradov’s suitability for the job, the think tank writes.

The video may also be a response to the active presence of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, CNN correspondent Tim Lister wrote in analysis.

He has recently become one of the defense minister’s fiercest critics, most recently accusing him of treason.

Prigozhin himself periodically posted videos showing his visits to the front in eastern Ukraine, including in Bakhmut, and accused the top management of poor care of the soldiers.

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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