They send Russian soldiers into the bloody war and privately enjoy a luxury life. Putin’s military elite is increasingly being criticized – which also harbors dangers for the Kremlin boss himself.
During the war, Russian soldiers give their lives for Putin’s vision of a Russian empire. Meanwhile, his military leaders, who support him in this campaign, are bathing in wealth and luxury – far away from the war. Critical voices are therefore increasingly being raised on social media. There are also accusations of corruption.
He is the most important man in the attack on Ukraine: Sergei Shoigu. Putin’s defense minister commands hundreds of thousands of soldiers. So it’s not surprising that pictures of his daughter on social media, which are dripping with luxury, draw a lot of criticism from Russians on the web.
In one photo, 32-year-old Kseniya Shoigu poses in a sparkling turquoise pool in Dubai for her 190,000 Instagram followers. You spent the turn of the year in the five-star Hotel Caesar Palace. The cost of a sea view room: 750 euros per night.
Ksenija sometimes has the necessary funds for this through her former investment company. This was involved in companies that received orders from prominent oligarchs – who in turn earned from government contracts from the Ministry of Defense.
Ksenija’s Instagram account is no longer public. But hatred in parts of Russian society for Putin’s high-ranking officials and their families is growing. For example, some used the picture from Dubai and placed it next to the photo of a frozen Russian soldier. That started the shitstorm.
The Schoigu family is by no means an isolated case. International media and NGOs, but also organizations in Russia itself, are increasingly revealing private details from the life of the Russian elite. The families of the top echelon apparently enjoy a life of wealth.
Each new disclosure weakens Putin’s system and makes things worse for those around him. It is becoming clear, at least on the internet, that the Russian population no longer wants to accept this.
Along with Kseniya Shoigu, the Russian MP Denis Dolzhenko appeared on the Russian Facebook counterpart vk.com. According to the location of the post, the photo is said to have been taken in the Volga province of Vologda, Dolschenko’s homeland.
The bizarre: Dolschenko wears shorts, Schoigu a short dress. On the day the picture was published, there were double-digit minus temperatures in Vologda. A user asks in the comments: “Does he think we’re morons?” In fact, the photo was apparently taken in Dubai.
The local governor of the region, Oleg Kyvshinnikov, then wrote on his Telegram channel: “While our compatriots risk their lives with guns in their hands, some think they can continue to stay in luxury resorts abroad.” Shortly thereafter, Dolzhenko’s party closed down the end.
The direct representative of Sergei Shoigu and Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov has also been heavily criticized. One of his duties is to manage all military-related construction projects. Ivanov is said to have put considerable sums in his own pocket – how much exactly has not yet been clarified.
Using company documents and 8,000 e-mails from his wife Svetlana, investigators at the anti-corruption fund of the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny Ivanov have identified numerous suspected cases of corruption. According to this, construction companies are said to have been commissioned by the Ministry of Defense to carry out private construction projects for Ivanov – the Ministry paid the bills.
Although Ivanov has been on the EU sanctions list since October, his wife was able to escape all penalties. She officially divorced in June, resuming her maiden name Zakharova. To date, joint pictures with Ivanov can be seen on her Instagram profile.