The Russian military blogger Anastasia Kashevarova speaks plainly about the operation in Ukraine: “Some commanders should be shot,” according to her. They would have no morals and no right to wear their badges.

The Russian military bloggers are very influential in the country. They are pro-war, strongly nationalist and also pro-the recent mobilization. But her account of what is happening in Ukraine is becoming increasingly sombre. Anastasia Kashevarova now speaks particularly plain text.

On the Telegram messenger service, she writes to her more than 300,000 followers: “I have to say that. Some commanders should be shot. Gentlemen, you have no moral right to wear your ranks and insignia.”

The reason for their excitement: the mobilization. “The result is that untrained boys are thrown into the front lines. Zinc coffins are already arriving back to Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg or Moscow. You told us they would get an education. That they would only come to the front after weeks. Have you lied again?”

And it goes on, addressed directly to those responsible: “Finally find the courage to call it a war. And to say that we lack everything. Tell people the truth. That we need help.”

There are many soldiers on the battlefield who are being used in the wrong way. Drone pilots as infantrymen. Men with epilepsy or autism in the troops. The result, according to Kashevarova: “They give up their positions and wander around. They fall into enemy hands.”

Addressing the commanders, the military blogger writes: “People died because of you. You should be demoted and sent to the front as common soldiers. And there you should be commanded by your former subordinates so that you finally understand.”

The reckoning with the commanders is harsh. But it could also be President Vladimir Putin’s tactic of naming culprits for the recent series of defeats. Because the military bloggers are fundamentally loyal to the president. And Putin is currently trying to strengthen his position by trying to distract from his involvement in the failures.