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Putin and his rotten, corrupt, murderous, barbaric Orc army

Sunday/Monday blog

First a bit of nonsense. Then the serious stuff.

Azog, Putin and the Orcs

I saw a bit of a film on TV on Saturday evening. It was the third part of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy – The Battle of the Five Armies.

The piece I saw featured the evil Azog the Defiler and his army of Orcs attacking the good guys. I couldn’t help noticing some very strong parallels with the situation in Ukraine. For a start, even though Ukraine wasn’t perfect as a country, Putin’s invasion really is a pretty clear case of Evil attacking Good. Moreover, Azog and Putin could almost be twins:

Furthermore, they both like to swagger around displaying their bare chests:

And they both like to lead armies of murderous monsters only intent on torture, rape and slaughter:

Putin’s corrupt and incompetent army?

Now the more serious bit. I found much of what follows on a website called “The Daily Kos”:

The feature of the Ukraine conflict which has most surprised Western military experts has been the underperformance of the supposedly ‘mighty’ Russian military.

But what most analysts have failed to factor into their predictions is the fact that kleptocracies cannot produce effective military forces. They can produce huge military forces which can overwhelm their enemies with unimaginable barbarity and sheer force of numbers while suffering massive losses because those at the top of the kleptocracy don’t give a damn about how many civilians and their own soldiers get killed. But in a kleptocracy there is so much corruption at all levels of society, that the military cannot be effective.

Putin’s army, like so much else in Russia, is an army run by a criminal mafia. Food and housing are almost worse than Russian prisons, ethnic gangs prey on fellow soldiers, officers run criminal enterprises. This is not the picture of an organization that would generate a lot of esprit de corps and trust among fellow soldiers.

The West was surprised when the Afghan army collapsed in just days even though it massively outnumbered the Taliban. But much of the Afghan army didn’t exist – many soldiers were just phantoms invented by corrupt officers so the officers could steal these phantom soldiers’ pay. And Afghan army officers were often enriching themselves by selling weapons and ammunition to the Taliban leaving their own troops unprotected and therefore not particularly enthusiastic about being killed.

Many educated or wealthier Russians find ways to avoid military service – bribes, lies, or whatever it takes. Most of those who do serve are desperately poor or are press-ganged into service as a punishment or because they don’t have the means to avoid service.

In the Ukraine, Russian soldiers often seemed more interested in carrying off their loot – computers, fridges, jewelry, fashion trainers and other stuff – than tending to their own wounded comrades. Considering that most Russian soldiers are from the lowest, poorest and least-educated levels of society or are even criminals and given how Russian officers treat those under their command and how senior soldiers extort and brutalize newer conscripts, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they rape, murder and loot when in the field.

These are not the actions and this is not the army of a military leadership that is worried about an imminent threat to the nation. The Russian military has been re-engineered to make embezzlement easier, not to make it more effective against NATO. Contrary to the propaganda coming from the Kremlin, the Russian top brass thought the odds of an invasion by NATO were less than zero. No need to have a military prepared to take on NATO as it really was not considered an actual real-world threat. Just maintain enough readiness to prey on weak and defenseless opponents and feel free to steal the rest to pay for yachts, villas, mistresses, and palatial dachas. As for the soldiers under your command? Screw them, like the rest of the Russian populace, they are only useful as a means to fatten politicians’, officials’ and military top brass’s bank accounts.

Then Putin screwed the pooch by invading Ukraine and forcing his clustrf#@k of a military, gutted by corruption and demoralized by brutality, criminality and internal violence to actually function in modern warfare against a well-trained and motivated opponent.

It turns out the army Putin created in his own image may be a great cash cow for Russia’s rulers, embezzlers and criminals, but it really sucks at being an army.

2 comments to Putin and his rotten, corrupt, murderous, barbaric Orc army

  • Bad Brian

    Only Five Armies ? Filthy Tory cutbacks !

  • Jeffrey Palmer

    It would be interesting to see which would come out top in a contest between the West’s climate-obsessed, gender-neutral, diverse armed ‘forces’ and Putin’s men.

    Historic precedent doesn’t seem to show much success for Western forces against either Imperial Russia or the Soviet Union, even in the long-ago days when Western males were still actually tough.

    However, it appears that Ukraine’s own equally corrupt oligarchs have managed to create a tough and efficient neo-Nazi armed force fully capable of taking revenge for 1945, given sufficient Western weapons courtesy of Western taxpayers.

    If Putin’s Russia actually has little to fear from NATO’s expanionism, it also appears that NATO itself now has little to fear from Russia’s inefficient armed forces.

    Just a thought, but perhaps in the UK we might now be advised to target some of our newly imported Ukrainian Brits for armed forces recruitment, rather than other ethnic and LBGT minorities.

    Provided that fits our masters’ current agenda, of course.

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