The War in Ukraine has seen Russia take the heaviest casualties in its military since the Second World War. A lack of an NCO corps, logistical strains, incompetent field grade officers, and untrained conscripts have led to military disasters and internal conflicts that nearly led to civil war and mutiny inside the country.

The Russian military is at a disorganized level that has not been seen since the First World War, and ironically, the country faces a disaster on the level of 1917. Decades of negligent leadership have plagued its military capabilities, which has affected battlefield progress against a formidable foe such as Ukraine. Ultimately, the Kursk disaster sealed the fate of Putin’s Russian Federation and the military as the disaster and handling of the crisis set the tone for the Putinist era of Russia.

The Kursk Submarine Disaster

Vladimir Putin displayed how little he cared about his military personnel with the Kursk Submarine Disaster. In this submarine tragedy, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) purposely delayed its response time to rescue the naval crew after a tragic accident.

Putin himself was on vacation and hardly paid any mind to the situation of the Kursk, even when both Britain and Norway requested assistance to save the survivors. By the time Putin authorized these nations to help, the entire crew of the Kursk was dead. Putin ordered the Kremlin to silence the families and criticisms of decades of government negligence that resulted in the faulty submarine.

Desensitizing Russian society to Putin’s violent antics, his inner circle has increasingly become staffed with hardliners and military bloggers who upload gore videos from their forces to the public on Telegram. Executions of convicts within Wagner have become popular amongst the PMC’s ‘Grey Zone’ Telegram, which has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers throughout the war.

Plagued with Negligent and Uncaring Leadership

Putin reconstituted the Russian military after their military disaster in the First Chechen War. Using the more hardline methods that made Moscow infamous, Putin ordered his generals to use scorched earth tactics toward their enemies.

The Second Chechen War saw Grozny become the most destroyed city of its time, along with the decimation of the Chechen population. Nevertheless, it took Putin the strategy of paying Chechen warlords, such as the Kadyrov family, to finally quell the insurgency.