A Russian war blogger and former friend of Vladimir Putin could face jail after he launched a series of attacks against the despot and his commanders.
Kremlin-ally-turned-war-blogger Igor Strelkov, who boasts more than 750k followers online, said he "does not give a damn" about what appears to be a plan by Putin to have him silenced for his outbursts.
Strelkov, 52, reportedly has many supporters in the Russian military who enjoy his critiques of defence minister Sergei Shoigu, who he has labelled a "Plywood Marshal", and Putin's top commander Valery Gerasimov, dubbed "General Moo-Moo".
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Last month he told Putin to "shut up… simply shut up", adding that the "enemy" was laughing at him.
Strelkov, whose real name is Igor Girkin – is an ex-FSB colonel and was once the "defence minister" of Donetsk People’s Republic.
He was involved in the annexation of Crimea and subjugation of Donbas in 2014.
Strelkov also believes Ukraine shouldn't exist and thinks the land belongs to Russia but doesn't reckon the likes of Putin and Shoigu are up to the job of reclaiming it.
He also slammed Putin’s obsession with costly hypersonic weapons like the Kinzhal or Dagger.
"Factually, we don’t use this weapon," he said.
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“And if we don’t use [it], then what use does it have for the large-scale war, going on for more than a year?
“None whatsoever… it doesn’t make any difference to the war."
And in a direct message to Russia's warmonger leader he said: “Somebody tell the President so that he stays quiet… Shut up Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], simply shut up, you better stay quiet.
“Then we won’t feel ashamed of you, that our country has such a president.
“And the enemy won’t be mocking you…”
An unnamed woman reportedly tipped off police to his anti-Putin rants and they are now examining the claims, along with an accusation against him of fraud involving humanitarian aid.
And this isn't the first time Strelkov has faced legal action.
He did Putin’s dirty work in the annexation of Crimea and subjugation of Donbas in 2014 and, say critics. "knows where the bodies are
The former FSB agent was convicted in absentia last year at the Hague for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with a Buk missile, killing all 298 people on board.
He has admitted the authorities could "bring me down" over his more recent claims against his former colleagues “if we equate Plywood Marshal and General Moo-Moo to the Armed Forces”.
"No amount of persecution will affect my position,” he said.
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"A person who has already been sentenced in The Hague to life imprisonment, does not give a damn about such nonsense and trifles.”
He also warned his despot former pal he could meet the same fate as other fallen dictators like Colonel Gaddafi.
“Every silly move of the head of our state, his every irresponsible action – when instead of taking charge [of the war] he flies simulator helicopters – this all piles up in a piggy bank,” he declared.
“Milosevic, Gaddafi and Saddam also had these piggy banks…
“And when as a result of military defeat people turned their backs on the leaders, they remembered all these things.”
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