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: https://twitter.com/bellingcat/status/993446102551728129
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.

Note that General Alexander Dvornikov is notorious for his leadership in Syria and the Chechen War, where he earned the moniker of the “Butcher of Aleppo and Grozny.” Well, apparently, he is not very popular among the officers serving under him either, as shown by the intercepted audio that describes him as “a complete and utter imbecile.” SOFREP earlier reported that Dvornikov had been sent to Ukraine last April as the Russian invasion first stalled and then contracted dramatically.

“Look, where is this Shoigu(Armed Forces Chief of Staff), you can’t see or hear him, then he’ll come out, the f*cking scum. Some f*ckers will come out around him, running around on bent legs, these little generals, colonels, lieutenants,” said Vlasov.

“The f*cking generals were all invited in there for f*ck’s sale. F*ck, no one knows how to fight, no one wants, all they do is f*cking salute, no one has been f*cking taught anything else.”

This seems to confirm other reports we have seen that Russian conscripts were sent to battle without any real training. This is would serve to explain why their forces have been very ineffective against the better trained, better motivated, and disciplined Ukrainian forces.

“Terrible casualties of our guys, yeah f*ck,” Vlasov says to Kovtun. “And you know, I know a little bit of military history, comparing this, the f*cking war, with the Soviet-Finnish war… ’39 to ’40, f*cking one and the same, following the same f*cking pattern, for f*ck’s sake.”

The Russo/Finnish War in 1939 occurred following Stalin’s purge of the core of the Russian officer corps, the troops they send to invade Finland were poorly equipped, led, and supplied.  The outnumber and lightly armed Finnish troops used mobility and the harsh winter conditions to their advantage and inflicted nearly half a million casualties on the Soviets in 5 months.

He further explains that Russian Colonel-General Plat, the Advisor to the Minister of Defense and Chief of the Control and Supervision Department of the Minister of Defense, had never served in the Russian army.

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Russian Colonel Vitaly Kovtun (East2West via Mirror UK). Source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/two-russian-colonels-caught-foul-27110144
Russian Colonel Vitaly Kovtun (East2West via Mirror UK)

“I’m going to f*cking march with a pitchfork the Kremlin square for f*ck’s sake. They’ve got f*cking generals, all sorts of f*cking Chaiko-f*cking types. All the rest of them [generals], f*cking cunts,” said Kovtun.

Kovtun would then say that the Russian forces should bomb the Ukrainians and shoot “them” from a distance, as they had “loads” of artillery rounds and rockets.

It was later revealed that Kovtun believed that Russia could take Germany easily and that the killings in Mariupol and the filtration camps were “cool.” This is very weird as he has family in Ukraine, with his sister living in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. He also directly reveals why Russia had been shooting at civilians:

“F*ck, the cruiser’s f*cking ruined [possibly the Moskva], the cruiser’s f*cking sunk,” Kovtun says. “Well, shoot at f*cking anything. Retaliate. F*ckin shoot back at Kyiv too! F*cking shoot back!”

They were possibly referring to the Russian flagship, the Moskva, which was sunk by two Neptune anti-ship missiles last April. The Russian forces have said that the Moskva had sunk because of a random fire caused by its ammunition blowing up. To the surprise of absolutely no one, it appears that this explanation was fake.

Russia has expended thousands of rockets and tens of thousands of artillery rounds so far in the war.  It currently appears as if Russia has all but exhausted its limited stocks in inventory and can’t possibly saturate Ukraine with artillery strikes as the country is roughly the size of Texas.

Radio Liberty Ukraine was able to get in touch with Kovtun and asked him how he justified the shelling of Kyiv when he himself had relatives there.

“F*ck you! I’m not calling for anyone to shell any cities, you f*cking cunt!” he replied. “What do you want? I don’t give a f*ck, I’m gonna report you to the FSB, and that’s it!”

They also reached out to Vlasov, to which he did pick up the phone but immediately dropped it.

The public release of these calls will probably result in both officers being recalled to Moscow to face charges of sedition or even treason against the state for their criticism of Putin, the General Staff, and the Theater Commander.  In the US military, such conduct would be a career-ending mistake. At least it would get them off the front lines in Ukraine, though.