Two senior Russian officials tried to “sabotage” Russian invasion to end war

14 APRIL 2023

German news agency Tagesspiegel, citing a large-scale leak of a secret US military document, has stated that Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, and Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council, allegedly tried to sabotage the invasion of Ukraine at the beginning of the war so that it would end by 5 March 2022.

Source: Tagesspiegel in its articles dated 13 April and 14 April; photo from The Daily Mail

Details: Following the New York Times and other American news outlets, the German newspaper Tagesspiegel started to analyse the leaked US intelligence data that surfaced on the Discord website, focusing on the power struggle in the Kremlin and the alleged subversive plans of some of the Russian leadership.

According to the German news agency, “the leadership of the Russian army allegedly had a plan to sabotage the war to the detriment of Putin”.

One of the US intelligence documents allegedly quotes a “well-known Ukrainian source”, who, in turn, quotes a Russian source who reportedly has access to the Kremlin. And the Ukrainian source claims that there was an attempt to sabotage Russia’s aggressive war within the ranks of Moscow’s military leadership.

It is claimed that Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, and Valery Gerasimov, Chief of Russia’s General Staff and the current Commander-in-Chief of Russian occupying troops in Ukraine, are behind the sabotage attempt.

The document, which is also at the disposal of Tagesspiegel, says that Russia planned to transfer resources from Taganrog [Russia] to Mariupol [Ukraine] and “focus its attention on the southern front”.

According to the source, Patrushev and Gerasimov developed an “offensive” plan “to sabotage Putin”.

According to the source, Gerasimov rejected the planned offensive. “He informed Putin that Ukrainian forces were superior to Russian ones and warned that Russia would suffer heavy losses if the offensive took place.”

The attempt at sabotage by senior military officials was to lead to a military defeat with the aim of casting Putin in a bad light so that Russia’s painful defeat would lead to the end of the war.

The intelligence document says that, according to the sabotage plan, the war was supposed to end by 5 March, 2022, when Putin planned to start chemotherapy.

According to a source close to the Kremlin, Gerasimov wanted to disrupt the deployment of Russian troops. He planned to do this on 5 March, “when Putin allegedly had a chemotherapy session, and therefore he could not influence the course of the war”.

Photos of documents on “sabotage” were also posted by the British tabloid, The Daily Mail.

Tagesspiegel states that it is unclear to what extent the information obtained from the leak can be trusted.

The German newspaper notes that data on Putin’s illness has not been confirmed, but there is not a single record on the Kremlin website for the period from 3 to 6 March 2022. Putin’s last meeting before the break was a meeting with the Security Council, and on 6 March all discussions were conducted by phone.

Tagesspiegel adds that other documents from the leak also indicate a confrontation between Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner Private Military Company, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Allegedly, the dispute between Prigozhin and Shoigu escalated to such an extent that Putin intervened and organised a meeting for them on 22 February 2023.

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