Russian commander could have been fired after outrage from military bloggers who said he was incompetent, ISW said

  • A Russian commander was removed after outraged military bloggers amplified his failed leadership.

  • The Institute for the Study of War says "Russian ultranationalist outrage" online may still influence.

  • The commander led the Russian 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade, which blew up Kakhovka dam in June.

A Russian commander was ousted following a wave of outrage at his poor leadership from military bloggers, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports.

The commander, who has not been named, led the Russian 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade, part of the 49th combined army of the Russian Armed Forces, which blew up Kakhovka dam in the Kherson Oblast in June, causing devastating floods in southern Ukraine.

The ISW reported that Russian military bloggers claimed that they had a hand in removing the senior officer following a series of setbacks endured by his brigade, including notable losses due to the poor use of artillery and subpar leadership while fighting in the Kherson region.

Russian military bloggers amplified the "significant losses due to inadequate artillery support and poor leadership in the Kherson direction," triggering the removal of the disgraced commander claimed the bloggers, per the ISW.

One of the Russian milbloggers stated on September 30 that the removal of this commander is a "rare case" in which truth and justice prevailed, said the ISW.

Earlier in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the 205th Brigade fought in offensive operations around Zaporizhzhia and Mariupol, according to The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Previously, the outfit was at the heart of the action in Russia's brutal wars in Chechnya and Dagestan in the 1990s.

A Russian brigade officially has at least 2,000 soldiers, and the commander holds the rank of colonel.

The ISW wrote that the removal of the commander suggests that Russian ultranationalist outrage may still have influence over Russian military command despite an overall decline following the rebellion by Wagner mercenaries in June.

Russia illegally annexed Kherson, along with Donetsk, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia, one year ago this week. On September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed Russians on the anniversary of the annexation of the four regions, insisting it was done in "full accordance with international norms."



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