Russian Lawmaker Calls Out Key Issue Holding Army Back


Andrey Gurulyov, a former Russian military commander and current lawmaker, has said that a culture of lying is holding back Moscow from achieving victory in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Gurulyov, the former deputy commander of the Southern Military District (SMD), made the comment in a post on his Telegram channel, in which he gave his take on how Russian forces were dealing with Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

The post on Friday said that Ukrainian forces had changed combat tactics; were no longer moving forward in large numbers; and were using cluster shells and ammunition to target Russian units who were forced to retreat up to six miles.

Gurulyov added that Ukrainian troops were ably handling the minefields that were part of Russian defenses and that Ukraine’s air defenses were stopping Russian helicopters from using anti-tank missiles.

A Ukrainian soldier of 42nd Separate Mechanized Brigade sits in a tank on September 11, 2023 in Eastern Ukraine. Former Russian commander Andrey Gurulyov has said that Russian military leaders’ lies about how the war is going are a barrier to victory.
Yan Dobronosov/Getty Images

Gurulyov also said that Ukrainian forces were effectively using drones that were making strikes in the rear. While Russian troops were improving, he added that they had to fight against NATO’s technology. He wrote that getting in the way of a Russian victory is “one serious problem, lies.”

“Yes, there is less of it than there was at the beginning” of the war, “but it is there,” said Gurulyov.

“False reports, unfortunately, lead to poor decisions at many levels. Let’s acknowledge it and fight it, otherwise there will be trouble,” he added.

In assessing the comments, the Institute for the Study (ISW) said that Gurulyov is notable for having previously leaked the audio message of former Commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army (SMD) Major General Ivan Popov’s grievances over the lack of support for Russian forces on July 12.

In an audio message, Popov had condemned Russia’s lack of counter-battery combat, an absence of artillery reconnaissance stations and “the mass deaths and injuries of our brothers from enemy artillery.” Popov said he had been removed from his post after raising his concerns about the war to leaders.

The ISW reported how “Gurulyov’s likely senior ties with the SMD lend weight to his complaints.” Newsweek has contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for comment by email.

Gurulyov is a deputy in the Russian Parliament (Duma) and a regular feature on Russian state television where he has made repeated threats against the West.

This week, he told the Russia 1 channel that Russia should attack the United Kingdom with missiles after Vladimir Putin had said without evidence that British intelligence was involved in a sabotage plot on a Russian atomic facility.

Last month, Gurulyov warned Poland against stationing its troops near the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and that such a move would mean that “everything will end badly.” He also said without evidence that Polish authorities wanted to seize control of parts of Ukraine.


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