Kremlin insiders call Ukraine war a ‘clusterf—k’: report

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Kremlin insiders call Ukraine war a 'clusterf---k': report

Another Russian general has died, and other senior army officers have either been killed or wounded in fighting in Ukraine this week — only adding to what Kremlin officials are reportedly calling a complete “clusterf–k.’’

Russian Maj. Gen. Vitaly Gerasimov and some senior officers were struck down in fighting in Kharkiv on Monday, days after Gen. Andrei Sukhovetsky was killed by a sniper, Ukrainian officials said.

The blows to the Russian army’s top echelon occurred even before Russian government officials were already calling Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “a clusterf–k,” a report said.

A week ago, Russian journalist Farida Rustamova wrote on Substack that a high-level source told her Kremlin insiders believed the war on Ukraine has been a complete disaster.

“They’re carefully enunciating the word clusterf–k,’’ she wrote, according to a translation.

Another source told her, “No one is rejoicing. Many understand that this is a mistake, but in the course of doing their duty, they come up with explanations in order to somehow come to terms with it.”

Rustamova, a former BBC and TV Rain journalist, published the report March 1, less than a week after the invasion began.

Defense Minister of Russia, Sergei Shoigu, left, inspects the troops of Russia and Belarus.
Defense Minister Sergie Shoigu has reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Ukrainian president is a drug addict.
MDRF / Polaris
A map showing the Russian army’s advances in Ukraine.
A map showing the Russian army’s advances in Ukraine.

She reported that only a small circle close to Putin knew of the imminent invasion, with many assuming the military build-up on Ukraine’s border was a negotiating tactic with the West.

Her reporting also cast doubt on the Russian president’s state of mind.

“He is in a state of being offended and insulted,” said a source described as a “good acquaintance” of Putin. “It’s paranoia that has reached the point of absurdity.

Russia President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation from Kremlin.
Russian journalist Farida Rustamova’s report questioned if Putin was in a sound state of mind.
EyePress News/Shutterstock

“Putin now seriously believes what [Defense Minister Sergie] Shoigu and Gerasimov are telling him: about how quickly they’ll take Kyiv, that the Ukrainians are blowing themselves up, that Zelensky is a coke addict.”

Rustamova’s original report was translated into English by Sarajevo-based journalist Ilya Lozovsky.


Get the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with The Post’s live coverage.


An unnamed Western official had told Sky News that it seems Russian army higher-ups are being killed “because they’ve had to go further and closer to the front.”

“That’s an indication of some degree of frustration and some degree of lack of progress, and they’re trying to impose their sort of personality on the battlefield and putting themselves at personal risk,” the source said.

A view shows a destroyed Russian Army all-terrain infantry mobility vehicle in Kharkiv.
A destroyed Russian Army all-terrain infantry mobility vehicle in Kharkiv.
VITALIY GNIDYI

Rustamova reported that “the attitude toward the war within the corridors of power is ambiguous.

“Many of them are discouraged, frightened, and are making apocalyptic forecasts,” she said, adding that the head of a big Kremlin-backed bank Andrei Kostin is “in mourning” and some members of the Russian assembly are discussing resigning from their seats.

“Did anyone expect Putin to decide to go to war? Everyone assures me they didn’t,” she wrote. “They thought that the president was escalating the situation in order to have more trump cards in negotiations.”

Gerasimov and Sukhovetsky headshots
Russian Maj. Gen. Vitaly Gerasimov, left, and Maj. Gen. Andrei Sukhovetsky were both killed while invading Ukraine.
ZUMAPRESS.com

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