Skomorokhov's opinion piece follows below.
Roman Skomorokhov (Source:Fotokto.ru)
Recently, our information field is brimming with various pieces of information so that is becoming ever more difficult to handle. The enemy is trying as hard as possible to play with the minds of the Russian man in the street, in order to sow confusion and chaos in them, as well as to reap certain dividends from this.
Let’s figure it out step by step. The first case I would like to mention has already been dubbed as a fake news and the very existence of this case has been refuted by the Russian Ministry of Defense. I personally was shocked, because the Defense Ministry came forth with a statement only a week after the video’s release. It happened only after the Smolensk deputies rushed to make inquiries in all directions. Otherwise, they would, probably, remain silent as usual.
So, the case involved the allegedly mobilized from the Smolensk 359th Regiment, who for two weeks have built fortifications on the left bank of the Dnieper, and then, after coming under mortar fire from the other bank, withdrew. They were motivated by the fact that they had no communication, no artillery support, and their personal weapons, consisting of Kalashnikov automatic rifles and [World War II vintage] Mosin rifles, could not provide any resistance. Unwilling to die for nothing, they withdrew and began to call out to the public.
It’s not even that which I hear, but what I see [in the video]. What I see is a crowd of people dressed in motley and repulsive clothing. Is this the Russian army? Are you serious? Excuse me, homeless people in my neighborhood in Voronezh often look better dressed. They’re [not soldiers, but] partisans, sorry for the language, living off what they can get (and not necessarily in combat).
Well, of course, such horror is not happening everywhere. In the beautifully filmed and edited video released by the Ministry of Defense, which depicts [soldiers] mobilized from Tula, who say beautiful and correct words. Everything is fine with the equipment in the video.
Well, let’s agree that everything is far from sound in our army, we have a lot of problems, and it’s even possible that "partisans" like the aforementioned ones will appear. Along the lines of whatever a person was able to buy, with that he goes out to war...
Russian soldiers look like partisans rather than a regular army (Source: Zona.media)
Then came the "Voronezh case". There, on the local social networks, the story was planted that some "Voronezh regiment" was deployed near the city of Krasny Liman without receiving any special preparation, and that almost all of them died there. It was claimed that only 21 out of more than 400 people remained alive.
The local women, whose husbands had been mobilized, didn't simply "scream," they felt cut to ribbons and took the governor’s office by storm. It happened on the day off, mind you. Governor Gusev came to the office, met with the residents and, relatively, defused the situation. At least, the yelling and screaming stopped for a while.
Later much cooler heads (naturally, not from among the staff of the Ministry of Defense) found out that there was no "Voronezh regiment." ... The "Voronezh Battalion" very quietly ceased to exist.
Article 332 Of The Russian Criminal Code
Later it was reported that a mobilized soldier, Alexander Leshkov, who "assaulted" a lieutenant colonel because he did not want to perform his duties, was arrested by decision of the Odintsovo garrison military court and will remain under the arrest until January 14, 2023, he faces up to 15 years in prison, which is not surprising at all.
Obviously, a nudge with the hand would be qualified as severe battery of the Lieutenant Colonel in the line of duty, and our "fair" court would send Leshkov to jail, essentially due to his desire that he and his comrades be trained properly before being sent into combat. Well, he didn't do it not in quite the correct manner, but nevertheless…
Generally speaking, many people today argue that "there is no order in the army and it must be imposed." I agree. The question is: who will do it and how
The following item is the video that prompted me to write this article.
It, too, is not totally unambiguous, but it raises much less questions than the first video from "Smolensk."
The video seems to depict an arrest of two servicemen for refusing to comply with the order to depart for the combat zone. The prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case under Article 332 of the Criminal Code, while officers from the military police theatrically apprehended the soldiers right in front of the formation...
I have absolutely no doubt that these are in fact our troops. Not only is proof provided by our smart military policemen, there was also a UAZ "Patriot" car (a prisoner transport van with the numbers of the Western Military District, which is undoubtedly "our" car), but I have frequently visited this unit once in the days when the Western Military District was still collaborating with independent media. There were once such times…. so it was possible for me to identify the place.
Naturally, the mish-mash of poorly dressed laggards, who lack even the slightest bit of military training, constitute a perfect backdrop for the military police.
One can rejoice at the sight of custom fitted uniforms, good body armor (obviously, military police don’t have to buy it themselves), and the knack with which they twist the arms of the mobilized. The training of our military police is encouraging.
In general, such videos are aimed, obviously, at people who harbor an illusion that they retain some choice. Well, refusal to execute orders, desertion, rudeness - yes, they all should be combatted, even by such methods.
However, the quality of the voice over in the video makes it impossible to understand what this gentleman in sneakers from the military prosecutor's office is saying. It should be different, as those for whom this video was filmed, should have the right to know. You must agree that the filming of such an event was done under official authorization and permission. The man with the camera was running alongside the entire regiment, after all...
I also agree with the opinion that such videos are necessary. They should show not only privates, who refused to go to war, but also higher-ranking military. Colonels, who supplied the Ukrainian Armed Forces with tanks and self-propelled vehicles, having "forgotten" to inform their units about retreats, generals, who were stealing army property for years, military commissars, who commit lawlessness, and so on would’ve looked handsome and patriotic [captured] in the same poses [as privates on the video].
But my gut tells me that we won’t see such videos. Generals are allowed to abandon cities, whose capture has been paid with the blood of our soldiers, steal thousands of "Ratnik"[state of the art infantry combat system] kits (at the same time flooding the "Avito" classified ad service with "Ratnik" ads). Colonels and lieutenant colonels are allowed to simply abandon serviceable equipment, which is then used by the enemy to a great benefit.
Ratnik 3 kit that Skomorokhov alleges were pilfered by the top brass (Source: Life.ru)
But they won’t be the ones arrested, tried, or imprisoned. For these purposes, there are bloggers and journalists, who work at the front lines, and provide a picture that differs from the Defense Ministry’s summaries, the mobilized, who were granted the "opportunity" to buy everything they need at their own expense (because the army doesn’t have uniforms, shoes, body armor and other equipment for them) and provided with "training" that consisted of firing of 15 rounds of ammunition. And if someone doesn’t like something, then the military prosecutor’s office and the military police along with a military tribunal will elaborate quite quickly what way to think, and what must be done in order to achieve results.
But as part of the very same constituency that might be submerged by the fifth or tenth wave of self-mobilization, I automatically sympathize with the "mobiks" [mobilized]. They are just like me. And I'm just like them. And I can be the one standing in the same line, and I can be shrunk in size for an improperly uttered word, for example, that I do not want to die in vain, because one of the generals really wants a coveted star on his military uniform.
Presumption of innocence? Yes... and especially it should be observed when dealing with those they drafted and sent off to war, to death.
It's like back in World War II: the authorities didn't send jet pilots to the penal battalions [that were sent on suicide missions], no matter how many violations they committed. Penal battalions were too quiet and safe, compared to a combat sortie in an "IL-2" jet.
And here the video appears, whose theme is "be warned, so the same thing will not happen to you." And who do people, whom they simply might kill tomorrow, or abandon, or leave behind, by forgetting to convey a "withdrawal order", have left to fear? They will fight to the last cartridge, like those OMON riot police. I’m talking about the same outcasts dressed in what they could purchase. They will fight.
 Topwar.ru, November 23, 2022.