Russia’s top commander in Ukraine has launched a war against Russian military bloggers who have criticized his tactics and strategies by imposing cumbersome new reporting rules on them.
The US-based Institute for the Study of War said that General Valery Gerasimov, appointed commander of Russian forces in Ukraine only three weeks ago, is insisting that bloggers wear blue ‘‘press’’ body armour and stick to strict embedding regulations.
“The Russian military command may also be attempting to resurrect its previously unsuccessful censorship efforts targeting the critical milblogger community,” it said.
This effort to control Russian military bloggers follows an earlier order to Russian soldiers from Gen. Gerasimov to get a haircut and shave.
This was interpreted as an effort to undermine scruffy Wagner mercenaries, mainly ex-convicts, and bearded Chechen fighters who freewheel around battlefields in Ukraine, often outside Russian military control.
Russian military bloggers have complained that the real reason for imposing the new reporting rules is also an underhand effort by Gen. Gerasimov to undermine them too.