Russian ultranationalists and pro-war bloggers, usually current or former soldiers known as millbloggers, are blasting the country’s military for fostering a culture of lies. The comments from the bloggers come after Lieutenant General Andrei Gurulev, a member of the country’s legislative body known as the Duma, began making similar complaints Friday. Photo courtesy of Andrey Krechetov/Wikimedia Commons
Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Russian ultranationalists and pro-war bloggers, usually current or former soldiers known as millbloggers, are blasting the country's military for fostering a culture of lies.
The comments from the bloggers come after Lieutenant General Andrei Gurulev, a member of the country's legislative body known as the Duma, made similar complaints Friday, analysts with the U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War first spotted.
"How to get away from this misfortune? In my opinion, there are two methods that should be used simultaneously. The first is to form a close command team, in which lying is a [expletive], unacceptable act," Gurulev said in remarks on Telegram on Sunday.
Gurulev, who has been rallying against military lies for days, called for Russia to impose penalties of 15 years in prison during wartime for making false reports in the military, outlining scenarios in which soldiers and commanders lie or give inaccurate information in order to look good.
The Russian millblogger Two Majors responded to a question from a purported subscriber on Saturday that appeared to agree with Gurulev's assertion that the culture of lying in the Russian military is the main issue preventing a Russian victory in Ukraine.
In the post, the blogger purportedly quoted Andriy Viktorovych, a former military commander branded a war criminal by Ukraine.
"We will win in any variant, but the victory is distanced from us only by one serious problem of ours -- lies. Yes, it has become less than it was at the beginning of the Soviet Union, but it is there. It exists at different levels, it is talked about in the troops," Viktorovych said, as translated from Russian.
"Lying reports, unfortunately, lead to wrong decisions at many different levels. It is there, let's recognize it and fight it, otherwise we will be in trouble."
Meanwhile, another milblogger agreed with Gurulev that lying is a "disaster" that occurs at all levels of the Russian military.
"Metastases of lies have enveloped the Armed Forces, starting from the tactical-company-battalion level and further higher, right up to the strategic level," the blogger wrote.
"Based on this logic, it's scary to imagine what kind of reports are being sent to the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the President."
The escalating sentiments show the lasting effects of the rebellion led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group, over the summer.
Prigozhin had marched his band of mercenaries toward Moscow to challenge what he believed was poor leadership in the Russian military.
An insider has since compared Gurulev to Prigozhin as the "front-line truth-teller."