Former Russian commander Igor Girkin continued to criticize the country’s operations in Ukraine, calling its forces “exhausted” and poorly stocked.
Girkin rose to prominence in the Russian military during the 2014 annexation of Crimea and later served as a commander for separatist forces in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine. A staunch Russian nationalist, he has long been a supporter of the invasion of Ukraine, but more recently has become vocally critical of the Russian military’s performance in the war, frequently posting lengthy breakdowns of their shortcomings to his personal Telegram account.
On Sunday morning, Girkin shared a lengthy post analyzing the latest news from the battlefield and suggested that he expects a major attack from Ukrainian forces soon, due to the poor shape that Russian forces are in.
“Why do I think the enemy will attack soon? Precisely because they have the best chance to succeed now,” Girkin wrote, as translated from Russian. “The best strike units of the Russian Armed Forces are exhausted from months of fighting. Stocks of ammunition are minimal.”
Former Russian commander Igor Girkin is seen. On Sunday, Girkin claimed that Russian troops in Ukraine are “exhausted” and working with depleted stores of ammunition.
Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images
In his post, Girkin explained in further detail how Ukrainian forces would be met by Russia in attacks from different fronts. If, for example, they led an attack in the Donetsk region in the Donbas, they would face troops “that are badly shattered and ‘thinned out’ by redeployment of reserves to Bakhmut.” For this reason and others, he dismissed the efforts to take the city of Bakhmut as “not even approximately worth the effort and money spent on it.”
In the wake of the Wagner Group, a private military unit, claiming complete control of Bakhmut on Saturday, Girkin wrote in another Telegram post that he was not excited to hear the news, due to the losses incurred to take the city and its lack of strategic value.
“Bakhmut was ‘homed,” Girkin wrote. “It does not excite me. Taking into account what I know about losses, wasted resources, lost time, and the initial understanding of the strategic senselessness of this operation.”
The full scope of Russia’s losses in Bakhmut is unclear at this time. Earlier this month, U.S. intelligence estimated that roughly 20,000 Russian troops had been killed over the months that it took to allegedly gain control of the city, with an additional 80,000 injuries.
“The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation did not take anything at all, but ‘washed themselves in blood’ in abundance near Avdeevka, in Maryinka and Ugledar,” Girkin wrote, referencing the other fronts that could have been better defended. “Unfortunately, not those who planned and directed these operations from large headquarters, but the blood of front-line soldiers and officers, mobilized and volunteers.”