Mark Milley breathes a sigh of relief: A 'general' emerges who's even worse than he is
It must be good times for U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Gen. Mark Milley.
Just as Jimmy Carter breathes a sigh of relief that he's no longer America's worst president, Milley, who commanded the disastrous U.S. Afghanistan pullout, is no longer the world's worst general.
That "honor" now goes to Vlad Putin, who, according to The Guardian, citing U.S. intelligence sources, is the "general" who directly, specifically, brought Russia its biggest military failure in its "special operation" against Ukraine. He was out there playing "colonel," the report said.
It was ugly.
According to the New York Times:
The destruction wreaked on a Russian battalion as it tried to cross a river in northeastern Ukraine last week is emerging as among the deadliest engagements of the war, with estimates based on publicly available evidence now suggesting that well over 400 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded.
...which began like this:
On May 11, the Russian command reportedly sent about 550 troops of the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 41st Combined Arms Army to cross the Donets River at Bilohorivka, in the eastern Luhansk region, in a bid to encircle Ukrainian forces near Rubizhne.
Satellite images reveal that Ukrainian artillery destroyed several Russian pontoon bridges and laid waste to a tight concentration of Russian troops and equipment around the river.
The Institute for the Study of War, citing analyses based on the publicly available imagery, indicated that there could have been as many as 485 Russian soldiers killed or wounded and more than 80 pieces of equipment destroyed.
The Times points out that the military error, which cost Russia hundreds of lives and a 73-piece loss of equipment at one pop, was obvious to Russia's military bloggers, who are a pro-Russia bunch.
They are now having misgivings about the "generals" at the top who engineered the catastrophe:
"I've been keeping quiet for a long time," Yuri Podolyaka, a war blogger with 2.1 million followers on Telegram, said in a video posted on Friday, saying that he had avoided criticizing the Russian military until now.
"The last straw that overwhelmed my patience was the events around Bilohorivka, where due to stupidity — I emphasize, because of the stupidity of the Russian command — at least one battalion tactical group was burned, possibly two."
And a third, Vladlen Tatarski, posted that Russia's eastern offensive was moving slowly not just because of a lack of surveillance drones but also "these generals" and their tactics.
"Until we get the last name of the military genius who laid down a B.T.G. by the river and he answers for it publicly, we won't have had any military reforms," Mr. Tatarski wrote.
According to The Guardian, there is a name that's out there:
Vladimir Putin has become so personally involved in the Ukraine war that he is making operational and tactical decisions "at the level of a colonel or brigadier", according to western military sources.
The Russian president is helping determine the movement of forces in the Donbas, they added, where last week the invaders suffered a bloody defeat as they tried on multiple occasions to cross a strategic river in the east of Ukraine.
The sources added that Putin is still working closely with Gen Valery Gerasimov, the commander of the Russian armed forces, in contrast to claims made by Ukraine last week that the military chief had been sidelined.
"We think Putin and Gerasimov are involved in tactical decision making at a level we would normally expect to be taken by a colonel or a brigadier," the military source said, referring to the ongoing battle in the east of Ukraine.