As we have covered the war in Ukraine, bringing our readers the intricate details of what’s been going on with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s no secret that there has been widespread dissent within the Russian military. A recently surfaced intercepted audio recording shows two Russian colonels blatantly criticizing and cursing Russian President Vladimir Putin for their invasion of Ukraine.

The audio, which Radio Free Europe first posted, shows two Russian colonels discussing the current state of the war in Ukraine. Needless to say, they did not hold back their tongues.

“Shoigu is completely f*cking incompetent. Just a f*cking showman, for f*ck’s sake,” one Russian colonel said. “This [General Alexander] Dvornikov is a f*cking legend. He’s a complete and utter imbecile, just an imbecile,” he added. “He’s a f*cked up, brainless f*cking idiot.”

“Even if they hit the wrong f*cking place, let them be f*cking scared, shoot the f*cking train stations, shoot the f*cking railways, for f*ck’s sake,” he said. “A f*cking rocket should fly into the Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine’s Parliament] in Kyiv. That’s it, f*ck it. Why didn’t [a rocket] fucking fly? I don’t f*cking get it, you’re f*cked, Putin—motherf*cker!” said another Russian colonel.

Many may speculate that this is another instance of Ukrainian propaganda and may even speculate that the recordings are fake. This is certainly possible, we have reported on claims that later proved not to be true.  We then print the new information to keep you informed. We’re all well-aware of the psyops that happens during war. Still, the difference is that Radio Liberty was actually able to identify the Russian colonels as being Lieutenant Colonel Maxim Vlasov and Vitaly Kovtun lends this recording a high probability that it is authentic.

Vlasov was a colonel responsible for shelling civilian ares in 2015, specifically in Mariupol, when he commanded Russian missile divisions with the call sign “Yugra.” This was later confirmed by Bellingcat way back in 2018. He now allegedly leads the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division of the Western Military District. As reports state, he was transferred to the 1st Tank Army later on.

Lieutenant Colonel Maxim Vlasov in 2013, one of the colonels openly criticizing Putin in a leaked conversion (Bellingcat). Source:
Lieutenant Colonel Maxim Vlasov in 2013, one of the colonels openly criticizing Putin in a leaked conversion (Bellingcat/Twitter)

Kovtun is a military doctor from Vinnytsia. He allegedly has family in Ukraine, which is quite common in Russo-Ukrainian relations due to their shared history. In fact, it is widely hypothesized that some Russian soldiers are hesitant to kill Ukrainians because they themselves have Ukrainian blood or have family members that live in Ukraine.

Later, it was revealed that the colonel with the explicite criticism about Shoigu and Dvornikov was Col. Vlasov. It was also revealed that the person cursing at Putin was Dr. Kovtun.