A senior Kremlin-installed official in the Ukrainian partially occupied region of Kherson lashed out at Russian army officials Thursday, a rare example of full-throated criticism from an official as Moscow faces mounting military losses to Kyiv.
The acting governor, Kirill Stremousov, of Kherson’s Russia-installed administration, stated in a four-minute video shared on his Telegram channel on Thursday that, “Many are saying that the Defense Minister- who has allowed things to come to this- should simply shoot himself like a real officer.”
Stremousov asserted that his harsh criticism was not directed at the entirety of Russia’s Defense Ministry but rather at a handful of “unskilled commanders.”
Ukrainian military appeared to have been making sweeping advances in the southern area of Kherson in recent days, recapturing the majority of strategically important towns.
Russia’s forced retreat has sparked widespread concerns among pro-war commentators, some of whom feared the situation in Kherson could mirror that in the northeastern Kharkiv region, where Ukraine swiftly regained control of large swaths of territory last month.
In his video, Stremousov also praised Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and outspoken pro-war journalists for their unfiltered criticism of Russian military officials amid the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
“I agree with Ramzan Akhmatovich Kadyrov, who raised this issue. Well done,” the Kremlin-installed official said.
Stremousov also reassured his viewers that Russia’s recent losses in the region are simply the result of a “regrouping” of the army, insisting that Ukrainian forces will not be able to make it into the city of Kherson.
“Our defence lines are tightly locked,” he said.