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Well-known Russian blogger Michael Nacke and military analyst Russlan Leviev are now officially wanted by the Russian state for discrediting the military, but neither of them is currently in Russia.
Nacke told Fox News that the announcement of being in trouble just added wind to his sails. “They said I said something bad about the Russian army. Everyone in the world right now is saying something bad about the Russian army because they are really bad” , did he declare. “But it’s good for killing peaceful Ukrainians.”
For Nacke, this war is the most horrific event imaginable. He says he sleeps with it and wakes up with it. He told Fox News that all he wanted to do was help somehow stop it, and that he had long wondered if his daily war reporting work with Leviev made a difference. “Now I have the answer, because if the Kremlin or Putin’s regime thinks I’m a danger to them, that means I’m doing the right thing.”
Leviev’s background stems from the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT). He said he would continue to make videos, and more.
Nacke left Russia long before the war at a time when he felt the situation there had become too ominous. Since February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine, he and Leviev have been a team: Nacke the interviewer, Leviev the expert, the asshole who studied images of military equipment on TikTok and other forms of social media, scanned open-source reports, scanned satellite images.
A few times they got it wrong. Nacke said Leviev always corrected those mistakes as soon as he caught them to set the record straight. They spoke, Nacke said, with soldiers who wanted out. “They write to me and say, Michael, we don’t want to be in this war. Some of them, not all of them. Some of them are just, you know, monsters, really monsters, but some of them they said they had been forced into this battle.”
Nacke has some 700,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel. Asked about the most interesting aspect of this war they talked about, he said it was a story of transport vehicles used to transport stolen goods to Ukraine, in particular washing machines.
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“They left behind the corpses of their soldiers and used the vehicles to move washing machines,” he said. “This is what you need to know about the Russian military: nobody cares about anybody.”
The recruitment of young men from impoverished regions of Russia has been widely reported.
Few casualties appear to involve soldiers from major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, as there are many job opportunities there. Yet looting has been just another troubling aspect of the conflict.
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Nacke cited another story of an officer who was in charge of a tank battalion that was nearly crushed in battle. The senior officer, according to Nacke, was not even present at the battle. His father, a general in the Russian army, then rushed to award a medal to his son. Nacke claimed that he and Leviev pieced together the story from bits and pieces, some of which were learned from state television. “It’s bribery,” Nacke said.
He claimed that it was worse in the army than in other areas of Russian life, and that is why the equipment let the troops down. He described the supposedly sophisticated weapons that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown in recent years as “cartoon – with bad graphics because in the graphics they also have corruption”.
Nacke said it’s easy to say all of these sophisticated missiles exist, without proving it. Nobody really seems to know what Russia has in its arsenal.
Nacke said he thought Ukraine would win and the Ukrainians defended their country well. He described himself as eager to see how they could attack once they had more weapons. Will they recover Crimea?
He also said he didn’t think Putin was crazy. “He’s trying to make everyone think he’s crazy because it’s his weapon. If everyone thinks you’re going to start a nuclear war, then they’ll be scared of you.”
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Nacke concluded that Putin loved his life, his wealth, his family which included “many children from different women”. Of course, Putin is notoriously secretive about his personal life, so all this talk about multiple children and lovers remains in the realm of speculation.
As if that ‘wanted notice’ had inflamed Nacke, he said: ‘I believe, and hope that after he loses this war, he (Putin) will lose his power. I’m not in Russia in right now and it’s not very good for me. I love Russia. I’m a patriot in a good way. I want to go back. I’ll be back on the first plane when this man dies or leaves his post or goes to jail, or something like that.