Putin is fighting for his life in Ukraine. “In Russia there is no forgiveness for countries that lose wars”

In Russia, morale is deteriorating more and more within the framework of an unjustified war in the eyes of many and with economic consequences which affect the daily life of the population.

Russians increasingly unhappy with war, Putin on the ropes PHOTO Shutterstock

A survey conducted in early November by the administration of the Russian president in several regions of the country demonstrated this saturation in relation to an incredibly long war. Pressure on Russian leader Vladimir Putin is mounting after weeks of grueling military setbacks and domestic demands to end the mobilization. The sanctions imposed by the EU continue to darken the lives of Russians, faced with the recession of their economy and a war which seems to them more and more insane every day.

The Russian site Meduza, supported by two sources close to the Kremlin, explains that “The focus groups clearly show that Russians are not optimistic about their future and that of the country.” “It’s indifference and apathy”, also indicates one of the Russian media sources. However, Meduza sources say they do not expect large anti-war protests in Russia. “People get used to everything” explains one of them. Liza, a 34-year-old Moscow resident, expressed her fatigue on CNN: “The mood in Moscow and in the country is now extremely dark, intimidated and desperate.”, she says. “People have no idea what might happen tomorrow or a year from now.”

Sergey Javoronkov, an economic policy researcher, also spoke to CNN about Russian morale: “The mood is increasingly critical due to the economic cost and dissatisfaction that the situation has not been resolved, contrary to the expectations created by the Kremlin”he says.

“It is a known effect: a short victorious war can cause excitement, but if the war drags on and does not lead to the desired result, disappointment ensues.“, explains the researcher.

Pressure on Putin increases

Pressure on the Kremlin chief is mounting after weeks of grueling military setbacks and national demands to end mobilization. Oleksi Arestovich, adviser to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, said there was a very real threat to Putin’s legacy in Russia after he was caught up in an operation that many said would be over in a matter of days. weeks. “Putin is very scared because in Russia there is no forgiveness for countries that lose wars“, Arestovici said for “The Times”.Now he is fighting for his life. If he loses the war, at least in Russian minds, that’s the end of it. His end as a political figure. And maybe in a physical sense. It made even people very loyal to him doubt that they could win this war.”.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky also said his Russian counterpart feared what might happen to him in the coming years after the invasion, which claimed tens of thousands of lives on both sides.

“This person has no other fear than fear for his life.”, and began Zelensky . “His life depends on whether or not he is threatened by his people. Nothing else threatens him.

Internal issues

Putin also faces domestic issues as Russian officials push to end the mobilization. The push for more soldiers has led to an exodus of able-bodied young people to neighboring countries and “affects the psychological state of societysays Emilia Salbunoa, member of the Legislative Assembly of Karelia.

In a letter posted this week on Telegram, Salbunova and other regional leaders urged Putin to ease military measures.

“This fact affects the psychological state of society, it is a source of anxiety and increased anxiety in Russian families and work collectives, and many people have health problems. The claims must be supported by decree“, she wrote.

Analysts including former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul say cracks are beginning to appear in Putin’s regime under the weight of international sanctions that have hit Russia’s economy hard amid a massive corporate exodus Western.

Ukrainians close to victory on the Kinburn Peninsula

Meanwhile, Ukraine has announced the recapture of almost the entire isolated peninsula off the Black Sea, where fighting continues to rage. “We are restoring full control over the region. We have three more settlements to liberate on the Kinburn Peninsula to officially cease to be a war region.” Nikolaev region governor Vitali Kim said on social media. The Kinburn Peninsula is the last piece of territory that the Russians occupy in the Nikolaev region. It is just 4 km across the Ociakiv Strait and provides access to the mouths of the Dnieper and South Bug rivers, as well as the ports of Nikolaev and Kherson. The Russians used their positions on the Kinburn Peninsula to periodically attack Ukrainian positions in Ochyakiv, southern Nikolaev Oblast and other Ukrainian-held areas along the Black Sea coast with rockets and artillery. The peninsula lies outside the 25 km radius of massed Russian artillery on the left (east) bank of the Dnieper in the Kherson region.

Control of the peninsula would allow Ukrainian forces to slow Russian attacks on the Black Sea coast, increase naval activity in the region, and conduct crossing operations on the left (east) bank of the Kherson, with a lower risk than crossing the Dnieper, the cited sources said.

Russia risks becoming a ‘failed state’

As international support for Ukraine and confidence in the country’s ability to deal with Putin’s terror grows, the question now is whether Russia, which may become ungovernable and in chaos, will survive the war. . The senseless and illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions – Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia – before Russia took full control of them turned them into a state with illegitimate territories and fluid borders, writes “The Economist”. “The Russian Federation as we know it is self-liquidating and entering a failed state phase,” said political scientist Ekaterina Schulman, who clarified that her administration is no longer able to perform its basic functions. Annexations will not deter Ukrainian forces, but they provide a model for restive regions of Russia, including the North Caucasian republics, which will seek to take advantage of a weakened central government. Another aspect of a failed state is the loss of the monopoly over the use of physical force. Private armies and mercenaries thrive in Russia, although they are officially banned.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the ex-criminal nicknamed ‘Putin’s boss’ and current leader of the Wagner Group, recruited prisoners from Russian prisons, offering them amnesty if they joined the mercenary army in the fighting in Ukraine. As the wealthiest townspeople flee, tens of thousands of their poorest compatriots are conscripted into the army and thrown into the trenches. Putin brought his “special military operation” home, destroying the fragile consensus by which the population agreed not to protest the outbreak of war and was instead left to live in peace. Now the Russians are being pushed into war where they must die in the name of the Kremlin regime. Putin cannot win the war, but neither can he afford to end the conflict anytime soon. He hopes that by involving more and more people in this war and subjecting them even more to his poisonous and extremist propaganda, he can delay the disaster of his military campaign. Whether he succeeds or waves of Russians returning home in coffins and elite discontent cause his overthrow from power will determine how many more lives will be lost and how far Russia will fall.

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