September 14, 2022 Russia-Ukraine News

Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Russian Communist Party, attends a plenary meeting of the Russian parliament on Tuesday. (Dmitry Dukhanin/Kommersant/Sipa USA/AP)

The rout of Russian forces in the Kharkiv region has led to an unusually harsh public debate in Moscow. Commentators and politicians discussed what was wrong – frequently blaming the MoD.

The public airing of complaints about what Russia describes as a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine stands in stark contrast to the handling of previous setbacks, such as the loss of Snake Island, where the Russian withdrawal was described as a goodwill gesture .

Commentators dismissed the Defense Ministry’s weekend explanation that forces were being “redirected” from Kharkiv to Donbass.

A member of the Russian Council for Interethnic Relations, Bogdan Bezpalko, suggested that military officials who ignored intelligence about an impending Ukrainian attack should be held accountable.

“At the front for two months, the Ukrainian armed forces and military equipment have massed in this area, all the Telegram channels have talked about it,” he said on state television.

“Where was our cursed recognition? All their heads should rest on Putin’s desk.”

Bezpalko called for “limited mobilization” in Russia. “Of course it’s a tactical defeat,” he said on Monday.

The discussion of a general mobilization – and qualifying the “special military” operation as a war – also enters the Russian parliament.

“How is a special military operation different from a war? You can stop the military operation at any time. You cannot stop the war. It ends either in victory or in defeat. I bring you to the idea that there is a war going on,” Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Russian Communist Party, said during a session on Tuesday.

A bit of context: On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there was “no discussion about it yet” on a general mobilization. decisions, but warned that there was a limit to critical opinions.

As for the other critical points of view, as long as they remain within the framework of the law, it is pluralism. But there is a fine line, and you have to be very careful here,” Peskov said.

Christi C. Elwood