Power-mad Putin now ‘at colonel level’ of involvement in Ukraine war

Russian president Vladimir Putin has taken another escalation to his power-hungry reign after western military sources claimed he was "at the level of colonel" in decision-making.

The strategies Russian troops are using to invade Ukraine are apparently now a personally involved project for Putin, who has allegedly elevated himself to the role of "colonel or brigadier".

The power-mad Russian president is determining the movement of forces in the Donbas, they added, and sources say that Putin is still closely working with General Valery Gerasimov.

Just last week, reports from Ukrainian sources suggested that Putin had sidelined his close ally, but other western powers believe Gerasimov is just as important as ever.

A military source speaking on the Ukraine conflict said: "We think Putin and Gerasimov are involved in tactical decision making at a level we would normally expect to be taken by a colonel or a brigadier."

No further detail was given by the anonymous source, although it is implied that Putin's close personal involvement is based on intelligence currently received by western powers.

Land warfare expert at the International Institute of Strategic Studies Ben Barry has said Putin should "have better things to do" than make changes to tactic or plan out military drills in Ukraine.

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Barry, a former brigadier in the British army, said: "A head of government should have better things to do than make military decisions. They should be setting the political strategy rather than getting bogged down in day to day activity."

Recent military failures for Russia have been branded as incompetent by Russian military bloggers, with the failed attempt to cross the Siverskyi Donets river heavily criticised.

The failed crossing led to the destruction of 70 Russian vehicles and at least one battalion's worth of equipment, The Guardian reported.

According to the Institute of War, a rare case of internal dissent saw hundreds comment on the "incompetence of the Russian military to their hundreds of thousands of followers".

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