A military analyst departed dramatically from the Kremlin’s talking points and said, on a top-rated Russian state television “news” show on May 16, that Russia is performing poorly in its war with Ukraine and that without serious military reforms Moscow might well be defeated.

Retired colonel Mikhail M. Khodaryonok, a popular columnist supporting a strong Russian military and assertive Kremlin foreign policy, spelled out that Russia is isolated and in a conflict with an opponent who is more motivated to fight and soon will be better armed. Khodaryonok made the comments on the “60 Minutes” talk-show program on the Rossiya network.

Alluding to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s approach, he argued that menacing others with nuclear weapons had led to the global isolation of Russia and was not a recipe for success.  Other speakers questioned his conclusions and pointed to Kremlin declarations the war is going planned. Khodaryonok said it is time for Russia’s leaders to face facts.

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