A former GRU spy agency colonel says Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu are “not capable of waging a war”.
Vladimir Kvachkov suggested in court that the tyrant and his allies are to blame for Russia’s failures on the battlefield after he was fined for “discrediting” the Russian army on social media.
Kvachkov’s damning comments came as he was convicted and fined 40,000 rubles for three social media posts that featured criticism of the “special military operation in Ukraine and the Russian leadership”.
The 75-year-old told a reporter before the hearing that it was “Putin and his team who are guilty” but he will now face a prison sentence if he is convicted again on the same charge.
The former colonel has appeared frequently at public events and on social media streams with pro-war blogger Igor Girkin – who wrote last month that Putin should stand down before the presidential election in March 2024.
Girkin – who, along with three others, was found guilty of shooting down Flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 passengers on board – was arrested last month pending an investigation into alleged extremism.