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Before reading these #FSBletters from the #WindofChange, please watch/listen to the following audio for the origin & context of these le...

Sunday, August 14, 2022

How corruption has turned into an unstoppable beast threatening to swallow the Russian military whole - August 5th Letter from the Wind of Change inside the FSB

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Please listen to this first to understand the background & context of the FSB letters:

 🧵My translation of the Aug 5 #FSBletters from #WindofChange inside the FSB to Vladimir Osechkin. Subjects: How corruption has turned into an unstoppable beast threatening to swallow the military whole. Origin of the Russian #PhantomUnits that only exist on paper, and much more.

As always, my comments for clarification are in (parenthesis). Wind of Change's parenthesis are in [brackets]. Let's roll: "Subject: Military Corruption as a Separate Form of Life

Hello, Vladimir! Reports of individual squads of the FSB’s Department of Military Counterintelligence from small streams of various military units turn into a full-flowing river at Lubyanka (FSB HQ).

Each operative compiling the relevant reports and cables is unaware of the scale of the phenomenon. They don't let us consolidate all the information into one document, so I'm sending it to you. This way they will read it faster.

There are things that can be analyzed when they happen, but predicting such twists and turns is practically impossible for any analytical department.

I will share a little on the specifics of corruption in the military, where it is corruption itself that creates fundamentally new problems, processes, and overall management mechanisms.

First of all, the statutory foundation: paragraph 8 of Article 2 of the Federal Law № 76-FZ of May 27, 1998 'On the Status of servicemen':

‘In the event of the absence of servicemen, they retain their status as servicemen until they are declared missing in accordance with the procedure established by law or are declared dead.

The above-mentioned servicemen retain financial and other types of support, which are paid [issued] to spouses or other family members of the servicemen residing together, according to the procedure determined by the Government of the Russian Federation, until full ascertainment of the circumstances of capture or as hostages, internment of servicemen or their release or until their recognition as missing or declared dead is established according to law.’

Now straight to the illustration of how this statue in the federal law was the starting point of a big [and unexpected!!!] change in our military. For example, a serviceman died, the body was left somewhere [if artillery, there may not even be a body].

The payout for his death is established, all is clear with this. But if you "move" the date of his death to a later date on the documents, the family will receive more money through payouts.

From this started small, isolated, and not-so-principled cases of military personnel "holding back" their dead or the dead of their friends so that their families would be credited with more combat payouts.

But here’s where something very different begins. It is disadvantageous for high-ranking commanders to report significant combat losses during operations for which they were responsible.

There are also isolated disastrous situations, for which no one wants to take responsibility at all. This is where it is beneficial for the command to "spread out" the losses over the calendar: not to report half a hundred bodies (dead) in a unit for today, but to distribute the losses at a rate of a couple of people per day, and smoothly stretch them out as additional losses over an extended period of time.

There is still no accurate accounting (of the dead) on the hot sections of the front.

And here the mess starts: sometimes individual units who seemingly have small losses (because the data is falsified and losses are underreported), have to admit their inability to fulfill a combat mission.

[Not only are there many 200s (killed) and 300s (wounded), but now there is a significant amount of 500s (deserters)] The higher-ups, in some cases, are stalling their real loss reports in order to get away with it and keep the problem under the radar.

As a result, we get a closed circuit, where everyone benefits from the manipulation of numbers, but everyone’s self-interest is different. And, a separate point is the sums of money at stake, which are simply enormous.

For combat pay alone, man-per-day is the same $52, not counting salaries and allowances. Just one dead who was "dangled" for a month is already more than $1,500. (Meaning fabricating the date of death by advancing it by just 1 month costs an additional $1,500+)

And 100 people who, according to the documents, died 3 months later (than they really did) - that's almost half a million dollars. Just for the per diem combatants.

For the same reason the number of deserters is greatly underreported: one must be held responsible for a deserter, but if he is "missing" or is a POW, it is a different matter. (This corrupt misclassification also means more money that government owes in combat pay.)

What if he comes to his senses? The issue of (misclassifying the deserter as a ) POW can be "resolved" through a fictitious exchange, or it can be resolved through a "hostage rescue operation.”

The statistics sent up the chain are already distorted, and at every management level more “adjustments” get made, of which both the higher and the lower levels are unaware.
There is no big picture, everywhere is "whatever happens" and "as was negotiated," for now it’s still big know-how for everyone. It’s a startup. (I laughed out loud translating this comparison to a startup company.)

But it is almost impossible to untangle this yarn: No one is interested in exposing the truth, one lie layered on top of another, and the hotter the zone, the more there are such cases. You have to sort it out on the ground, and that is exactly the unsolvable task.

In addition, the military leadership itself plays such games and they are not even interested in the investigation [and there are a bunch of reports on this from various sections of the FSB’s Military Counterintelligence).

Many wives have already mourned their husbands and know that they are dead, but according to the documents "husbands are at war.” The families continue to receive their combat pay, and at some point they'll be paid for their deaths.

Some (of the families) shares a part of the salary (corruptly paid to the dead) with the command of the unit (to keep the scam going), but no one ever voluntarily admits to anything, and there is no time to catch them for now.

Hence another grandiose problem with the military, which they also do not want to admit: If there is a mechanism allowing the concealment of real, large-scale, concrete military failures, then analyzing the failures and their causes is impossible.

But this does not remove the obligation from our management (in the FSB) to provide the analysis, which will “again miss objective confirmation.”

An entire platoon can die in an instant, but so that no one has problems later, according to the paperwork this platoon will "die" over a long period and little by little.
And if the unit suddenly needs to be transferred to this or that task, the phantom unit will "go" according to the documents, although the other unit in the real battle will suddenly find itself without cover.

And if that (real) unit gets annihilated, it can definitely become a "phantom" for a long time.

The loss of a platoon is easier to conceal than the loss of a company, battalion, or regiment, so the smaller the unit lost, the more likely it is to be turned into a "phantom on paper.”

But this is all in the regular army, where everything is not all that bad.
PMCs (Private Military Companies such as Wagner Group) are playing their own games, where the questions of who, how, and with whom are decided within the PMC organization itself.

I have categorically less data on them, but they have much more room to maneuver (with corruption and fabrication). So I can't give you the exact number of dead and wounded from among the prisoners (recruited by the PMCs to fight in #Ukraine) as you requested yet.

Next is the issue of classification of wounds received on the battlefield. Here it is the business built on blood: In certain circumstances, even some chafing can turn into a serious wound.

Military battlefield medicine is a large layer belonging to a massive schema.
And in time of war no one will allow it to be exposed: if you pull on the threads, you can break the whole system, and if you try to pull on a point with precision, then the mutual/circular responsibility (complicity) will immediately react to stop it.

Even in #Donetsk and #Luhansk, medics receive payments from #Moscow, taking into account the severity and duration of treatment of Russian military personnel.

And if it's more profitable for the doctor to cut off the leg than to bandage a toe, it's a matter of luck. Some of the wounded benefit more from having their diagnosis made more “serious,” while others are just a little unlucky.

This corruption has already created its own world, its own Universe. Hence the false statistics, the false picture of the operational-tactical situation, and a bunch of other derivatives. More on this in future letters.”

(END OF TRANSLATION of the August 5th #FSBletters from #WindofChange)