A leaked recording of a phone conversation between two Russian colonels included expletive-filled criticism of President Vladimir Putin and other members of the Kremlin leadership.
Radio Free Europe's Ukrainian service Monday published a curse-laden recording it said had been provided by Ukrainian intelligence.
The leaked phone conversation, dated April 14, reportedly was between Cols. Maksim Vlasov and Vitaly Kovtun and was recorded less than two months after Putin began his forces' unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
Kovtun is heard blasting Putin for Russian troops' retreat from Kyiv.
"A f****** rocket should fly into the Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine's Parliament] in Kyiv. That's it, f*** it," Kovtun said in the recording.
"Why didn't [a rocket] f****** fly? I don't f****** get it, you're f*****, Putin —mother******! Why didn't a rocket fly into Kyiv, so they'd think … f***, yes, for f***'s sake there's something wrong ... something hasn't been done the right way."
The two men raged against the many failures of Putin's "special military operation."
"There are horrible losses of our guys, f***. And you know, I am familiar with military history a bit, and I compare this to the f****** Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. It's f****** one and the same," said Vlasov, referring to a war in which the Soviets lost an estimated 126,875 troops.
Vlasov then speaks harshly of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
"He's a layman in his work. This is not his f****** thing," Vlasov said. "He's just a f****** showman."
The person identified as Kovtun agrees.
"Shoigu is f****** shit. [There are] no contracted forces. Of course not! Why would there f****** be? They paid them 30,000 rubles [$490], where are they going to get contractees?"
The two colonels also ripped the military leadership in charge of the Russian forces.
"Shoigu has assembled all these f***** up [Emergency Situations] guys … if we have head of inspection Colonel-General [Pavel] Plat, f***, he's never even served in the army …" Vlasov said.
"They've brought forth a whole stellar cast of bootlickers. That [Alexander] Dvornikov is a legend of f***ery … He's the one who thought up this 'anti-Banderov push,'" Vlasov said, apparently referring to Moscow's narrative about Ukrainians being neo-Nazis.
"Well, basically, he's f****** washed up, a brain-dead idiot."
A reporter for Radio Free Europe's Ukrainian service contacted Kovtun, who has relatives in Ukraine, and played part of the leaked recording for the colonel.
"Even if [the bombs] don't hit the target, f***, let them be afraid," a man identified as Kovtun said defiantly, before telling the reporter. "I don't give a damn, I'll alert the FSB [Federal Security Service] about you and that's it."
Asked if he were willing to state his positions to the Russian leadership, Kovtun said: "No, I'm not ready [to do that]. I don't want to." He then hung up the phone.
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