Russian Analyst Who Criticized Ukraine War Changes Tune in New Segment

  • A former Russian colonel openly criticized the Ukraine war on state TV on Monday.
  • Mikhail Khodaryonok told his co-hosts and viewers not to take “information tranquilizers.”
  • On Thursday, he was boasting about Russia’s military strength and downplaying western weapons.

A retired Russian colonel and current defense columnist who openly criticized the country’s military campaign on state TV earlier this week reversed course in a new segment, boasting about Russia’s military might.

On Monday, Mikhail Khodaryonok urged viewers to not accept the Russian state’s narrative about the war at face value. By Thursday, Khodaryonok had changed his tune. Instead of criticizing Russian logistical failures, he bragged about Russia’s military might and condemned western-made weapons.

“When a country buys Western-made equipment, sometimes it malfunctions or stops working, right in the middle of the battle,” he said Thursday on Russia’s notoriously monitored state media. “Our arms we supply to our buyers are different in their reliability, you get exactly the weapons described.”

“I just want to say: don’t rush, don’t rush,” Khodaryonok said. “The Russian Federation is yet to utilize even one-tenth of its military-economic potential.”

Earlier in the week, Khodaryonok appeared with a panel of guests and was surprisingly frank in his criticism of the professionalism and logistical failures of the Russian military. 

“First of all, I must say, we should not take information tranquilizers,” Khodaryonok told a panel on Monday, referring to reports about low morale in Ukraine’s army. “All of that, put mildly, is false.”

In Monday’s appearance, he also ridiculed Russia’s threats against Finland after it applied to join NATO. Last week, the long-neutral Scandinavian country signaled its readiness to apply to NATO amid Russia’s invasion. 

“Don’t saber-rattle,” Khodaryonok said in his appearance, referring to Russia’s threats to attack Finland. “Don’t engage with saber-rattling with missiles in Finland’s direction,” adding that it’s such a poor tactic that it’s almost “amusing.” 

Khodaryonok on Monday urged viewers “to maintain a sense of military-political realism.” On Thursday, he instead aimed a critique at Ukrainian politicians who he claimed were celebrating military gains prematurely.

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