Far right financial manipulator and rumored billionaire ex-boy toy, Blake Masters, never served anyone but himself in his life… and certainly never volunteered to fight for his country. Now German-born Nazi Peter Thiel has spent tens of millions of dollars trying to buy a U.S. Senate seat for Masters. And Master’s campaign message? Gut the U.S. military leadership. Watch him pontificating in the video above.
And meanwhile back in the USSR-wannabe state, Putin allies have a similarly dark message about Russia’s military leadership, albeit for a better reason. Last night, Russian-born Moscow Times Bureau Chief Anton Troianovsli reported that Putin’s Chechyan warlord Ramzan Kadyrov and Wagner Group mercenary head Yevgeny Prigozhin called the general who withdrew from Lyman and eastern Ukraine— which Putin claims to have annexed— “incompetent” and demands he should now be “sent to the front to wash his shame off with blood.”
Progozhin said of Russia’s military leadership: "Send all these pieces of garbage barefoot with machine guns straight to the front.” He sounds even more violent than Kadyrov and Masters!
The Kremlin's military leadership, including Defense Minister Sergei Shogun, a close associate of Putin, has come under increasingly withering criticism in recent months from some pro-war Russian bloggers, who view them as corrupt bureaucrats failing as military strategists. That criticism expanded after Russia’s stunning retreat in northeastern Ukraine last month.
But the fury on Saturday after Russia lost the city of Lyman, a key rail hub, was extraordinary both in its timing and the fact that it was coming not just from commentators on social media, but from senior allies of Putin.
It underscored that the retreat was a major embarrassment for the Kremlin, coming just 24 hours after the festivities in Moscow for the attempted annexation of four Ukrainian regions by Putin that Western officials have decried as illegal.
The city of Lyman in the Donetsk region is part of the annexed territory that Putin described in his speech on Friday as “Novorossiya,” or New Russia, casting it as part of the country’s historical heartland. The fact that his troops there pulled back just a day later shocked Russian pro-war commentators, who interpreted the retreat as a sign that their government’s grand and aggressive rhetoric did not match reality.
As new of the impending rout in Lyman circulated on social media, Yegor Kholmogorov, a nationalist pundit, wrote on Telegram that “any retreat will look like a bad omen against the backdrop of yesterday’s events in Moscow.”
After Russia confirmed the withdrawal, Yevgeny Primakov, the head of a government agency managing ties with Russians abroad, wrote on Telegram that “we have given a Russian city to the enemy” for the first time since World War II.
But it was the public criticism by Kadyrov and Prigozhin— both of whom have become influential figures in Russia’s war effort operating independently from the Defense Ministry— that carried the most significance. It suggested that Putin would now face even more pressure from the hawks in his inner circle to escalate the war.
One concern in the West is that Putin might decide to use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, a possibility he has hinted at.
American officials are already gaming out scenarios should Putin decide to use a tactical nuclear weapon to make up for the recent failings of Russian troops in Ukraine— and have issued stark warnings to the Russian leader about the catastrophic consequences of such a move.
In his post on Saturday, Kadyrov became one of the first Russian public officials to openly call for the use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine.
“I don’t know what the Russian Ministry of Defense reports to the commander in chief,” Kadyrov wrote. “But in my personal opinion, more drastic measures should be taken, up to the declaration of martial law in the border areas and the use of low-yield nuclear weapons.”