How the Russian security state prepares for a protracted conflict with Ukraine
Andrei Soldatov is an authority on the Russian intelligence bureaucracy and how Vladimir Putin’s security state operates. He claims that Russia had prepared for a lengthy conflict against Ukraine and that Putin has made some of his worst miscalculations. “Everyone now realizes that this will be a protracted, conventional war, not the tiny military operation they said it would be,” he adds. Vladimir Alekseev is in command of intelligence activities in Ukraine on behalf of the GRU, which is Russia’s military intelligence organization. Sergey Beseda, the F.S.B.’s fifth service head, was detained after receiving significant criticism.
According to Alexei Nikitin, Putin is now preparing for a protracted conflict, for which he needs military spies and not political operatives. Putin must pledge to continue in Ukraine, where he is fighting a regular army and not Nazis. He has gotten himself involved in a significant conflict, and the military now believes they are waging a major battle. In reality, the Russian Army is suffering enormous casualties due to the weapons given by NATO nations. Therefore, even this cannot have used by the Russian military.
The Russian Army thinks that the pretense of conducting special operations should be abandoned, and certain members of the Army’s leadership have said this publicly. It is believed that the occupation of the Donbas cannot be the purpose of a conflict in which so many lives are lost, and so much pain is endured. Some pro-military channels on Telegram have recently held surveys and questioned their users, “What do you think?” We need something a little more ambitious. When will the war’s aim be accomplished? Even war supporters may depend more on Telegram groups and bloggers than, for example, Russian official media due to the Kremlin’s unclear message.
Since Telegram is so prevalent in Russia, I believe this is possibly the first conflict in which public opinion of the Russian military and some dialogue about the military exists. It occurs on Telegram, however, not usually in open chats but in certain closed groups. Veterans are stockpiling radios, medication, armor, and night-vision gadgets for pilots if they know of any shortages. They are discussing these issues.