Separatist instigator in Ukraine and the Wagner mercenary leader crack down on propaganda falsehoods

Both Girkin and Prigozhin have serious reasons to be angry with the Kremlin leadership. Is a revolt brewing?

Igor Girkin, former officer of the Federal Security Service (FSB) who led the group of professional instigators in the Donbas region in 2014 and led the secession movement from Ukraine, publicly insulted President Vladimir Putin for the failures on the front and the "empty promises" made to Russian soldiers.

In a video posted on Twitter, Girkin asserts that the so-called "special military operation," launched by Putin's order in February 2022, is a legal nonsense. 

"From a legal standpoint, the entire OMS is generally unclear. It's just nonsense. The troops now fighting on the front have no legal status. Thus, if the OMS were to end, for example, with the defeat [of Russia], no soldier would be entitled to justify that he followed orders, because legally he did not even have the right to execute them. How can he shoot representatives of another [recognized] state if the war has not been formally declared? He is simply a criminal," Girkin told patriotic channels on Telegram.

Thus, reserve Colonel Girkin dismantles a series of falsehoods that Putin insists on, including the myth that the "special military operation" aims to "liberate Ukraine from Nazis" and the promise to protect soldiers from possible legal consequences for their participation in military actions.

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Girkin's position in this war is that Russia is trying to rebuild its empire and that "things need to be said as they are," and "cowards like Putin" should not interfere with professional soldiers doing their job.

The statement of the former Russian security officer seems to be a condemnation of his own actions in 2014, when he provoked nostalgic pro-Russia rebels against the legitimate Ukrainian authorities in the Donbas region, having no official order or armed support from Moscow and acting more on his own.

However, in late last year, Girkin admitted that the administration in Crimea voted to join Russia "at the machine gun point" and that a vast majority of the population was against secession.

Prigozhin: We aren’t fighting NATO in Ukraine

Girkin's statements are in concert with aspirations of another war criminal, Yevgenny Prigojin, who criticizes the Kremlin and especially the Ministry of Defense for their lack of logistical and political support for the Wagner group of mercenaries. Prigozhin categorically denied that Russian forces were at war with NATO, stating that this organization only provides weapons to the Ukrainian army - which is the real adversary of the Russian army. 

"Who are we fighting? NATO or Ukraine? We are fighting exclusively with the Ukrainian army and certain groups of psychopathic mercenaries who simply want to skin some Russians or those who morally and psychologically support Ukraine, and it is understandable why they joined as volunteers. So, it is about the Ukrainian army, which of course benefits from large supplies of weapons from NATO," said the founder and head of the largest company of mercenaries in Russia.

Vladimir Putin continues to repeat to the Russians that their country is in a direct armed confrontation with NATO countries, without providing evidence to support this claim.

Progozhin has repeatedly requested the adoption of legislation that would provide legal protection for Wagner and shield members of this private army from potential persecution in the future in accordance with Russian laws, given that although paramilitary groups are tolerated, they are still illegal in the Russian Federation.

Igor Girkin and Yevgenny Progozhin are on the list of individuals sanctioned by the EU, the US, and other countries for their role in atrocities committed in Ukraine. The first one is wanted by Dutch magistrates for his participation in the down-shooting of a Malaysian Airlines commercial aircraft with nearly 300 people on board in Ukrainian airspace in 2014.