A prominent Russian blogger, Igor Girkin, who has been vocal in his criticism of the Russian military leadership and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being too soft on Ukraine, may face criminal charges for “discrediting” the army. Girkin, a former intelligence officer and rebel commander, is arguably Russia’s most influential cheerleader for the invasion of Ukraine, with hundreds of thousands of online followers. He was convicted by a Dutch court last year for the murder of nearly 300 people shot down on flight MH17.
Despite his support for the invasion, Girkin has also used his online presence to shed light on the mismanagement, corruption, and lack of care in the Russian army. He has been scathingly critical of Russia’s military leadership and famously nicknamed Sergei Shoigu, the defense minister, a “cardboard marshal.”
Now, Girkin appears to have been accused of “discrediting” the Russian armed forces, a criminal offense that can lead to a fine or prison sentence if committed twice. On Friday, the authorities reportedly launched a preliminary investigation into Girkin after a private citizen from Moscow filed a complaint.
During his online show on March 20, Girkin accused Putin of “behaving like a doormat, not the president of a country with a millennia-long history,” and suggested he blew the chance to capture Kharkiv and Odessa in 2014 “practically without a single shot.” He also blasted the Russian leadership for dragging their feet on the offensive in eastern Ukraine.
- Igor Girkin, a prominent Russian blogger and vocal critic of the Russian military leadership, may face criminal charges for “discrediting” the army.
- Despite his support for the invasion of Ukraine, Girkin has used his online presence to shed light on the mismanagement, corruption, and lack of care in the Russian army.
- Girkin accused Putin of “behaving like a doormat” and criticized the Russian leadership for dragging their feet on the offensive in eastern Ukraine during his online show on March 20, which led to a private citizen from Moscow filing a complaint against him.