Russian general 'performs striptease' in leaked video
A video appearing to show a Russian military leader performing a striptease has been leaked online after one of Moscow's spy planes worth £274m was severely damaged under his watch.
Lieutenant General Aleksandr Matovnikov, 57, can be seen dancing naked to music in a 44-second-long clip shared on the Telegram messaging app.
A message published alongside the video accuses him of being “an avid connoisseur of restaurants and ladies in Minsk”.
It adds that he “likes to shift the responsibility for making decisions to his subordinate officers. The general is more involved in creating similar video content for his girlfriends”.
Lieutenant General Matovnikov is currently the deputy chief of Russia’s land forces, with responsibility for Moscow’s military presence in neighbouring Belarus.
He is a former member of Moscow’s influential security council and served as Putin’s military leader in the North Caucasus Federal District, a strategically important region for Russia.
The tactic of shaming opponents by leaking compromising content is a traditional method used in Russia.
“The leak of the video is very likely intended to further embarrass Matovnikov for the operational failures that reportedly enabled Belarusian partisans to attack Machulichi air base near Minsk yesterday and damage an A-50 surveillance aircraft,” said Chris O, a military historian.
The video was leaked after a Russian A-50 spy aircraft, which is used to identify and track targets, was severely damaged by anti-government partisans in Belarus.
The Belarusian regime has allowed its airfields and territories to be used by Moscow to stage attacks on Ukraine.
The plane had been used to locate potential targets for Russia’s fleet of MiG fighter jets stationed in Belarus on at least six occasions.
The attack reportedly damaged the plane’s front and central parts, as well as its radar antenna.
Bypol, a group of Belarusian security officials who resigned in protest against the brutal crushing of anti-regime protests in 2020, claimed responsibility for the attack.