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Kremlin-Installed Official in Ukraine Slams Russian Military Leaders Over Mounting Losses

Press service of the Russian Defense Ministry / TASS

A senior Kremlin-installed official in Ukraine’s partially occupied Kherson region lashed out at Russian military officials Thursday, a rare example of full-throated criticism from an official as Moscow faces mounting military losses to Kyiv.

“Many are saying that the Defense Minister — who allowed things to come to this — should simply shoot himself like a [real] officer,” Kirill Stremousov, the acting governor of Kherson’s Russia-installed administration, said in a four-minute video posted on his Telegram channel Thursday. 

Stremousov noted that his harsh criticism was not directed at the entirety of Russia’s Defense Ministry but rather at a handful of “unskillful commanders.” 

Ukrainian forces appeared to have been making sweeping advances in the southern region of Kherson in recent days, recapturing a number of strategically important towns.

					Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-installed deputy head of the annexed Kherson region.					 					Kirill Stremousov / facebook
Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-installed deputy head of the annexed Kherson region. Kirill Stremousov / facebook

Russia’s forced retreat has sparked widespread concerns among pro-war commentators, some of whom feared the situation in Kherson could mirror that in the northeastern Kharkiv region, where Ukraine swiftly regained control of large swaths of territory last month. 

In his video, Stremousov also praised Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and outspoken pro-war journalists for their unfiltered criticism of Russian military officials amid the Ukrainian counteroffensive. 

"I agree with Ramzan Akhmatovich Kadyrov, who raised this issue. Well done," the Kremlin-installed official said.

Stremousov also reassured his viewers that Russia’s recent losses in the region are simply the result of a “regrouping” of the army, insisting that Ukrainian forces will not be able to make it into the city of Kherson. 

“Our defense lines are tightly locked,” he said.

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