In a secretly recorded telephone conversation, two Russian officers gossip about Russian President Vladimir Putin. In doing so, they acknowledge that he made crucial mistakes and criticize a problem that the man in the Kremlin only recently addressed.

A phone conversation between two Russian officers who are taking part in the war in Ukraine has revealed amazing things. In the secretly recorded sequence, the two military men unashamedly gossip about Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

The officers are said to be Maxim Vlasov and Vitaly Kovtun. The broadcaster “Radio Free Europe” and the research network Bellingcat report on the incident, which the Ukrainian secret service recorded on April 14.

Kovtun initially grumbles about the Russian withdrawal from all of Ukraine, which he believes has unnecessarily prolonged the war. “A damn rocket should fly in Kyiv. Why the hell didn’t it happen?” he asks, lashing out at the President. “I don’t understand, you’re screwed, Putin – asshole!”

In the same manner, Vlasov follows suit. “There are terrible losses among our boys, dammit. And you know, I know a little bit about military history, and I compare this to the damn Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. It’s one and the same, damn it.” In fact, more than 125,000 people died on the Soviet side in that war – significantly more than before in Ukraine.

The officers also insult Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, calling him an “incompetent, damn layman”. For Kovtun and Vlasov, however, the reason for the lack of supplies for the Russian troops in Ukraine is obvious: the low wages for Russian soldiers.

In the meantime, however, Vladimir Putin has turned this screw and promised mega pay. Volunteer fighters should now receive 220,000 rubles (about 3,200 euros) per month, a one-off payment of 250,000 rubles (about 3,650 euros) and a flat rate of 8,000 rubles (about 117 euros) per day of action.