*The website of the BILD newspaper is no longer available in Russia. The Russian media regulator has blocked access to BILD.de, which like WELT is published by Axel Springer, for readers in Russia. WELT distributes the texts of the BILD colleagues so that readers in Russia can find out about facts beyond the Russian government propaganda.

This article in German.

Russian propaganda has been trying to hide the failure of Putin’s army in the war against Ukraine for several months now.

Russian military analyst and former commander, Mikhail Khodarenok, in his speech on the Russian state TV channel, unexpectedly clearly outlined the critical situation in the Russian army and in the country’s economy.

► In front of an army of millions of viewers, Khodarenok boldly declared: “We are completely isolated in geopolitical terms. And although we do not like to admit it, but almost the whole world is against us.“

He also expressed his personal opinion: “But for us the situation will only get worse.” He described the soldiers of the Ukrainian army as “morally strong” and “extraordinarily motivated” in the defense of their Fatherland. He further stated that the Ukrainians will fight “to the last fighter”, which is completely at odds with the statements of Russian propaganda so far!

Russian propaganda mainly spread stories about Russia as a great military power. In addition, the Russian regime announced that Ukrainians would rejoice at the alleged liberation of the country by the Russian army.

Why did Russian propaganda allow such statements? Does this not mean a change in the political course in Russia?

► “NO,” said Sergei Sumlenny, an expert on Eastern European politics, in an interview with BILD: “Russian propaganda must sometimes allow such statements. They are staged. This is part of the show. The reason for this, according to Sumlenny, is the fact that “Putin must present the Russians with some plausible explanation that their army has been fighting for almost 80 days, but has not yet achieved any success.”

In recent days, articles have also appeared in other media highlighting the successes of the Ukrainian army and explaining this.

Russian propaganda itself, according to Sumlenny, explains this fact by the fact that Ukrainian soldiers, for example, received brainwashing from NATO and that is why they are so desperately resisting the Russian army.

Putin’s propaganda also claims that Ukrainians are “so strong because they are ultimately Russians. After all, according to Russian propaganda, the Ukrainian state is not

exist. They view the country as part of Russia,” Sumlenny said in an interview with BILD.

“In recent days, there has been increased pressure from the public to hear Putin’s explanation for the lack of success,” says an expert on Eastern European politics. The owner of the Kremlin was unable to demonstrate at least some victorious steps even on MAY 9 – the Day of the USSR Victory over Nazi Germany, although the Kremlin despot Putin has been feeding his people with promises for several months. “He intended to achieve great success by that date at the latest.”

But the Russian army failed to achieve even its minimum goal by May 9 – to encircle Ukrainian soldiers in the east of the country.

Since his army was unable to move forward throughout the war, Putin decided to personally develop the details of the conduct of hostilities. The Guardian newspaper quotes Western military officials saying that Putin makes decisions at the level of a colonel or brigadier general.

He works closely with Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, and determines some military operations in the Donbass.

► “Stupid idea”, explains Sergey Sumlenny: “Putin wants to apply his vision of the situation on the battlefields, intervenes in details – just like Adolf Hitler once did. These ideas, for the most part, mean nothing, but he, as a commander, cannot be objected to.“

The Russian army, which suffered huge losses in almost three months of the war, had serious problems before that, namely corruption. She was not at all such an invincible force as Putin’s propaganda made her.

►Together with the Moskva, the largest Russian warship went to the bottom after being shelled by the Ukrainian army.

►According to the Ukrainian side, about 27,900 Russian soldiers have died since the beginning of the war. Online – The Kyiv Independent media reports that, in addition, only 201 aircraft, 167 helicopters were shot down and 1235 tanks of the Russian army were destroyed.

►The Russian army is undermined by corruption, theft and lies. Harri Ohra-Aho, Finnish military adviser, retired major general, tweeted: “Increased corruption in the army has sapped its resources.” In an interview with The New York Times, Ohra-Aho said: funds, as much as he is entitled to according to his rank.“

This problem has been around for decades. In a 2011 interview with the pro-Kremlin newspaper Russkaya Gazeta, Russia’s Supreme Military Prosecutor, Sergei Fridinsky, said that one in five rubles allocated to the army is stolen.

Cases of theft in the army have repeatedly come to court. In January of this year, the former head of the supply department for armored personnel carriers of the Russian army was convicted. He helped embezzle more than 13 million

US dollars by forging supply contracts. This was reported by ITAR-TASS.