Putin surrounds himself with ‘absolutely incompetent’ military chiefs ahead of ‘senseless’ invasion of Ukraine, says Russia’s former vice-president

Putin surrounds himself with ‘absolutely incompetent’ military chiefs ahead of ‘senseless’ invasion of Ukraine, says Russia’s former vice-president. By Will Stewart.

Vladimir Putin has made himself a ‘laughing stock’ after he surrounded himself with ‘absolutely incompetent’ military chiefs ahead of the war in Ukraine, Russia’s former vice-president has said in a scathing attack on the Russian President.

Alexander Rutskoy, a former Soviet general, accused Putin of ‘senselessly’ killing tens of thousands of Russian soliders who have been used as cannon fodder in the war.

Rutskoy, who served as deputy to President Boris Yeltsin, said Putin’s invasion of Ukraine should never have been launched.

‘If the armed forces do not have the ability to conduct strategic offensive operations, then it is better not to try, especially outside your own country,’ Rutskoy said. …

He added: ‘Everything happening today is explained by the fact that our armed forces are not able, I emphasise, to conduct strategic offensive operations.

‘Why….? For a quarter of a century the armed forces have been led by incompetent, absolutely incompetent people.’

‘The result is the carnage in Ukraine where Russia has suffered losses which one estimate puts at 175,000 in less than a year,’ Rutskoy said. …

Putin’s court:

Putin had surrounded himself with security apparatchiks and others who lack high-level military training and skills, said Rutskoy.

This includes defence minister Sergei Shoigu who — despite now holding the rank of army general — is not a career soldier, but a politician known for his loyalty to Putin, Rutskoy said.

His predecessor, a furniture entrepreneur, Anatoly Serdyukov was ‘some kind of driver, a corporal and nothing more’, who was promoted because his then wife was the daughter of a close Putin crony.

Rutskoy added that the key people ‘never commanded or led anything’.

He said: ‘Who do we have in the Security Council of the Russian Federation? Not a single person who served in the army, not a single person who has a military education. …

Rutskoy’s background:

The nationalist politician was vice-president from 1991-93 after a highflying career in the Soviet military where he held the rank of aviation major-general.

He was three times shot down during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan where he commanded an independent air attack regiment of the 40th Army.

Rutskoy was made a Hero of the Soviet Union in 1988. He later served as governor of Kursk region, bordering Ukraine, during Putin’s presidency.

Hitler was an ex-corporal who let his political friends take many of the top jobs. After 1941, the Allies decided not to try to assassinate Hitler. They figured he was such a bad military decision maker, who frequently overrode the German General Staff, that he was an Allied asset.