A string of humiliating failures has seen a rise in Russians speaking out against President Vladimir Putin's brutal invasion of Ukraine, in the nation famed for its censorship.
Despite the rarity of government defiance, thousands of citizens took an unexpected stand against the February 24 invasion in the form of daily anti-war protests.
However, this was followed up until March 13 by almost 15,000 arrests, sparking reports of police brutality and even torture, with the government rolling out widespread censorship measures as a result.
But, rather than be silenced, a growing number of Russians have taken bold stands against the war.
In mid-March, Russian state TV employee Marina Ovsyannikova interrupted her own network’s live news broadcast to protest against the war in Ukraine, at great personal risk.
Ms Ovsyannikova made global headlines after crashing the broadcast with a poster bearing the words: “Stop the war. Don't believe the propaganda. Here they are lying to you”.
Last week, two more reporters followed her lead by pulling off a stunt of their own, publishing dozens of articles ripping into Vladimir Putin on pro-Kremlin news site Lenta.ru on Victory Day.
Reporters Egor Polyakov and Alexandra Miroshnikova jumped on the significant day to upload at least 30 articles to the site, blaming Putin for starting one of the “bloodiest wars of the 21st century”.
According to CNN, the articles were swiftly removed, but not before the reporters were able to claim that “Putin and his circle are doomed to face a tribunal after the end of the war”, and that “Putin and his associates won’t be able to justify themselves or flee after losing this war”.
Within weeks of the invasion, a law was enacted which allows the authorities to fine or imprison reporters who publish information which is critical of the war.
It’s not just journalists who have stood up to Putin, with a slew of pro-Russia military bloggers also recently lashing out.
On May 12, high-profile military commentator Yuri Kotenok took to the social media site to criticise the botched crossing of the Siverskyi Donets river, which claimed more than 400 lives.
Russian troops had been attempting to cross the river, located between the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, in order to advance further, but were intercepted by Ukrainian forces who bombed a pontoon bridge the invaders were attempting to cross.
“If you want fairytales, then you have come to the wrong place. In such a case you should go to officialdom,” Mr Kotenok posted, adding he was there “to provide with correct assessment, to speak good of the good, and bad of the bad, but to say the TRUTH.”
Another blogger, Vladlen Tatarskiy, directly held the commander who lead the operation to account.
“Until we find out the name of this ‘military genius’ who wasted the BTG [battalion tactical group] near the river and he publicly answers for this, there will be no reforms in the army,” he posted.
“The offensive in the Donbas is being hampered, not only due to the lack of effective intelligence from UAVs [drones], but also due to such generals.”
War blogger Yuri Podolyaka also joined the chorus, blaming the calamity on “stupidity”.
“I emphasise, because of the stupidity of the Russian command — at least one battalion tactical group was burned, possibly two”, while another, Starshe Eddy, said the deaths were the result of “not idiocy, but direct sabotage” by commanders.
“The commentary by these widely read milbloggers may fuel burgeoning doubts in Russia about Russia’s prospects in this war and the competence of Russia’s military leaders,” the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank wrote in response.
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