The Institute for the Study of War noted that insubordination which was being displayed by Russia’s commanders is now spreading among troops creating a problem for Russian president Vladimir Putin’s forces amid Ukraine war.
The think tank noted that Russian military bloggers had reacted strongly to the dismissal of 58th Combined Arms Army Commander Colonel General Ivan Popov after audio released last week showed Popov complaining directly to Putin about frontline conditions.
There have also been other reported dismissals of Russian top brass which include 106th Guards Airborne (VDV) Division Commander Major General Vladimir Seliverstov, 7th VDV Division Commander Major General Alexander Kornev and 90th Tank Division Commander Major General Ramil Ibatullin.
Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky, “set the precedent for the acts of insubordination that are currently plaguing the Russian MoD,” the ISW said.
Troops from the 7th VDV Division have also been warned they would withdraw from occupied Kherson if Mikhail Teplinsky were arrested. ISW said that is showed how “insubordination among commanders appears to be spreading to some of their soldiers.”
But changes to Russia’s forces “are impossible for Gerasimov or Shoigu to execute given Putin’s unrealistic demands for the war effort, constraints on Russian mobilization, and the Russian MoD’s persistent incompetence,” it said.
The ISW suggested that insubordination was created by Vladimir Putin who had regularly bypassed the established chain of command with the aim of securing quick results.
The crisis will “likely degrade Russian capabilities to conduct tactical offensive operations that are critical to the Russian elastic defense in southern Ukraine,” the think tank said as it “threatens to demoralize the wider Russian war effort.”