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Russian colonels lambast Shoigu and Putin in a wiretapped conversation

Radio Liberty's Schemes published a recording of a conversation between Russian colonels Maxim Vlasov and Vitaly Kovtun, in which they use foul language in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu over their actions in Ukraine and discuss the need to strike Kiev. Journalists obtained the recording of the conversation from Ukrainian intelligence.

Vlasov is a member of the Russian Armed Forces, his call sign is Yugra. According to the SBU and Bellingcat investigators, he is one of those responsible for the shelling of Mariupol using Grads on January 24, 2015, when 30 people were killed and more than a hundred wounded. Kovtun is a Russian military medic originally from the Vinnitsa region and has many relatives in Ukraine, Schemes report.

«Shoigu is a f***ing layman, completely incompetent. He's incompetent in what he does. It's none of his f***ing business at all. Just a f***ing showman,» «Putin is a bitch, a f***ing faggot,» «Dvornikov is a f***ing legend, a f***ing headless idiot,» says Vlasov.

He admits heavy losses among the military: «The losses are terrible, we've lost a whole f***ing lot. I know a little bit of military history, it's the same f***ing thing compared to the Soviet-Finnish war of '39-'40, the same f***ing scenario.»

Kovtun, in turn, promises to march to the Kremlin because of his discontent: «I'll come to the f***ing Kremlin square with a pitchfork soon, for f***'s sake. They've got f***ing generals, all sorts of f***in' Chaikas and what not, f***in' c***suckers. First they get people killed, then we f***ing wait for them to f***ing kill our people. They have been cheered up. Read what they write there, they are f***ing happy.

In addition, the colonels mention the sunken cruiser Moskva in the conversation. Kovtun says that the cruiser was wrecked and suggests hitting Kiev in retaliation. «Also in retaliation. So hit Kiev, for fuck's sake. F*** no. What does that tell you? They don't give a f*** about us.»

«There has to be a f***ing missile flying into Kyiv and hitting the Verkhovna Rada. That's it. Why the f*** it didn't happen? Why the f*** it didn't happen? I don't f***ing understand, Putin, you f***ing c**t! (...) Hit the city center, the f***ing Verkhovna Rada is there, the f***ing government house is there. Hit the f***ing government building. Well, probably there are no important people there. But the f***ing building will be destroyed. Everybody's gonna see it. A security guard will be killed, so what. That's it, for f***'s sake.»

When a Schemes journalist contacted Kovtun and asked him if he was ready to repeat his words to the authorities in public, the colonel replied that he was not and hung up.

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