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  1. #6301
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Does he know he's losing it while he speaks?

  2. #6302
    Thailand Expat OhOh's Avatar
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    One paragraph from:

    Signing of treaties on accession of Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions to Russia

    September 30, 2022 16:00
    The Kremlin, Moscow

    "We call on the Kiev regime to immediately cease fire and all hostilities; to end the war it unleashed back in 2014 and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, as we have said more than once.

    But the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson will not be discussed. The decision has been made, and Russia will not betray it. (Applause.)

    Kiev’s current authorities should respect this free expression of the people’s will; there is no other way. This is the only way to peace."


    Signing of treaties on accession of Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions to Russia • President of Russia


    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  3. #6303
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    One paragraph from:

    "We call on the Kiev ... to end the war it unleashed back in 2014"
    You really have lost your marbles.

    So has he.


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    Thailand Expat OhOh's Avatar
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    Ukraine's response:
    Ukraine Applies for NATO Membership, Rules Out Putin Talks

    By Reuters Sept. 30, 2022, at 10:34 a.m.

    KYIV (Reuters) -

    "President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced a surprise bid for fast-track membership of the NATO military alliance on Friday and ruled out talks with President Vladimir Putin, striking back at Moscow after it said it had annexed four Ukrainian regions."





    Ukraine Applies for NATO Membership, Rules Out Putin TalksI suggest, a refusal to talks and continuing to the military action, while the 16% continue to "assist" them.

  5. #6305
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    Is This The Beginning Of The End For Vladimir Putin

    Vladimir Putin bet his political survival on 'victory' over Ukraine — but his grip on power is starting to fray

    Vladimir Putin's bizarre ceremonies formalising Russia's annexation of some 15 per cent of Ukraine once again revealed the yawning chasm between Kremlin triumphalism and reality.

    Never mind Russian forces didn't even fully control the territories Mr Putin brought under the Russian flag.

    Never mind Russia's "referendums" were a blatant fabrication — with voting often held at gunpoint.

    Never mind that by now more people have fled Russia than the 300,000 extra troops to be "partially mobilised" in support of Putin's flagging war effort.

    And never mind that Russian forces are retreating in many of their newly acquired lands, with the key city of Lyman liberated by Ukraine less than 24 hours after its annexation was announced.

    How dangerous is Vladimir Putin?-c73c2973339f4ea3587a48fc3c26e9be-jpg

    Mr Putin's vitriolic rantings to a decidedly subdued audience provided plenty of distasteful soundbites.

    He referred to the West as "Satanists" with "various genders", calling for holy war against the transgender Western bogeymen.
    Vladimir Putin speaking on a large screen to a crowd waving large Russian flags
    The crowd watched on as Mr Putin announced Russia's annexation of Ukraine. (AP)

    His characterisation of Americans as neo-colonialists was laughably hypocritical since Mr Putin was literally in the process of announcing the recreation of an empire.

    He made references to Catherine the Great, claimed southern Ukraine had always been Russian, and liberally invoked the imperial term "Novorossiya".

    NATO expansion, supposedly the trigger for Russia's existential security crisis that left it with no option but to invade its neighbour, barely got a mention in Putin's tsunami of xenophobic bile.

    But the real story of Mr Putin's latest melodrama is that he has unequivocally bet his political survival on "victory" over Ukraine and the West.

    Crucially, there are now definite signs his grip on power is starting to fray, even if Mr Putin's demise may still be some way off.
    Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
    Play Video. Duration: 2 minutes 32 seconds
    Putin announces annexation of four regions in Ukraine
    Existential crises breed internal ones

    Dictators often meet their ends through inadvertent overreach. So, too, Mr Putin's new fragility stems from his own choices.

    Obsessed with recreating a footprint over what he believes are Russia's historical lands, and determined to blame the West as the global embodiment of moral decrepitude, the Russian leader has created his own existential threat.

    Yet his invasion of Ukraine has been an utter disaster.

    His conventional forces have been revealed as a chimera: poorly trained, poorly led, hopelessly corrupt, and often badly equipped.

    This is now becoming an internal threat that his domestic messaging is struggling to explain.
    Ukrainian soldiers pose outside of building with Russian flags still flying above.
    Even as Vladimir Putin formalised the annexation, Ukrainian forces were celebrating the liberation of key city Lyman. (Reuters: Oleksiy Biloshytskyi)

    What were sold as glorious Russian victories were repelled, got bogged down and then became embarrassing retreats, forcing Kremlin propagandists to simultaneously try to put out multiple spot fires.

    But spinning defeats as temporary setbacks can only work for so long.

    And finding others to blame, from false conspiracies about NATO forces fighting alongside Ukrainians, to criticism of field commanders for failing Russia, is also a temporary solution.

    Eventually, it will become patently obvious that the one man who isn't permitted to be criticised — Vladimir Putin — is ultimately in charge of the mess.

    Implicitly, this is already happening.

    Margarita Simonyan, Mr Putin's chief cheerleader in Russia's tightly controlled media landscape, has suddenly dissociated herself from politics, plaintively claiming she has no political authority.

    When loyal mouthpieces start trying to look dispassionate, it's time for dictators to worry.
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    Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 27 seconds
    Ukraine recaptures key town in annexed region
    Putin has been forced to abandon the political centre

    The enigma of Mr Putin and Putinism is that he has never really offered a guiding vision for Russia, despite being effectively the Kremlin's longest serving leader since Stalin.

    He has tended to avoid identifying with a particular ideological position, and isn't even a member of United Russia, the party invented to represent his interests in Russia's parliament.

    Instead, Mr Putin has presided over a centralised authoritarian government, playing divide-and-rule with different Kremlin cliques, and elevating friends and cronies while also occasionally purging them.

    Indeed, Russia has a system of bureaucratic bargaining between power ministries and powerful individuals that isn't completely alien to what we witness in the West.

    But in Putin's Russia, the strength of vertical lines of authority means major contests around policy aren't mediated by discussion, debate or other expressions of preference.

    Rather, they're decided by the will of one individual.
    People walk past a billboard displaying a soldier and a Russian flag.
    Spinning defeats as minor setbacks can only work in Mr Putin's favour for so long. (AP)

    This has served Mr Putin well in the past, allowing him to present the face of a political "centrist" whose choices soften the extremism of ultranationalists and communists, and keep him aloof from petty politics.

    But battlefield failures have now required him to lurch to the far right.

    That side of Russian politics has never completely supported Mr Putin, even though it remains beholden to him to retain political influence. It is also weakly supported by the population, and many of its leaders are figures of ridicule.

    Hence, Mr Putin is betting on his ability to drag popular sentiment with him.

    True, Russia's phoney democracy ensures he won't be removed at the ballot box, and appetites for public protest remain low. But he will now be expected to take actions even more unpopular than his botched partial mobilisation, which has been abruptly walked back.

    His critics, like the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, have already called on Mr Putin to announce martial law in Russia's border regions, and use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

    Doing so will not just hasten Russia's military defeat, but will weaken Mr Putin further domestically.
    Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
    Play Video. Duration: 4 minutes 4 seconds
    Russia's annexation claims 'fake' says Ukraine's ambassador
    Scapegoating is tricky in the face of collective failure

    In the past, the Russia leader has been able to purge with impunity.

    The military, the security services, and various oligarchs who displeased him have all at some point felt Mr Putin's wrath.

    But Russia's failures in Ukraine cannot be isolated to a few bad generals, or bad information from the foreign intelligence service, the SVR.

    They are systemic, revealing flaws across Russian strategic thinking, military planning, economic management, intelligence analysis and political leadership.

    The more the failures mount up, the less tenable Mr Putin's selective scapegoating becomes.

    He has replaced military leaders rapidly, and is now reportedly issuing orders directly to field commanders, including refusing to allow them to fall back and regroup.

    Intelligence assessments confidently arguing Ukrainians would welcome the Russian invaders were premised on Mr Putin's own reading of the situation, published in a 2021 screed that painted Ukrainians as little more than wayward Russians.

    Moscow's overconfidence in its sovereign wealth fund has been insufficient to insulate vital parts of the Russian economy against Western sanctions.

    And Mr Putin's belief the West would fold in the face of weaponised Russian energy seems only to have strengthened its resolve.

    Of course, none of this means Vladimir Putin will be overthrown tomorrow. He retains broad and deep control over Russia's population, and over the elites he permits to serve him.

    But his earnest projections of strength belie his increasing vulnerability.
    A flight departures board shows flights out of Moscow in February 2022.
    Searches for flights out of Moscow, Russia spiked after Mr Putin ordered a call-up.(Reuters: Stringer/File)

    By mobilising his population to fight in Ukraine, Mr Putin has broken his compact with the people. And by attempting to shift the blame for failure wholesale onto his subordinates, he has, for the first time, created an incentive for elites to unite against him.

    For a stark indication of how much Mr Putin's political fortunes have changed, we need only look at the new confidence of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

    Having survived an attempted Russian decapitation strike in February, Mr Zelenskyy is now overtly calling for regime change in Russia.

    Responding to Mr Putin's demand that Ukraine return to the bargaining table, Mr Zelenskyy observed that he "will not hold any negotiations with Russia as long as Putin is the President of the Russian Federation. We will negotiate with the new president".

    The end of Vladimir Putin? It might come sooner than you think.

    Matthew Sussex is a fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University. This piece first appeared on The Conversation.
    Posted Yesterday at 11:18am, updated Yesterday at 4:28pm

    https://www.abc .net.au/news/2022-10-04/is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-vladimir-putin-/101497106


    Putin is like a clown-show version of Hitler with his shambolic army but he also has a huge pile of WMD

    If Russia gets rid of him and starts trying to negotiate a winding back of sanctions we should keep the boot on the economic throat until they agree to significant reduction of nuclear weapons. Having a deranged and cornered tinpot dictator in charge of the worlds largest stockpile of nuclear weapons is not the best situation for the world to be in.

    Nuclear weapons should become taboo and the threat of physical conflict should come down to a test of any country or alliances conventional forces only.

  6. #6306
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Poor Vlad. His military briefers can't bring themselves to actually say they are getting their arses kicked, but they show it on the pictures in the background.




    How dangerous is Vladimir Putin?-untitled-jpg

  7. #6307
    Thailand Expat OhOh's Avatar
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    5 Oct, 2022 16:54 HomeRussia & FSU

    Putin transfers Europe’s largest nuclear plant to Russian control

    The move comes as Moscow integrates former territories after their accession to Russia .

    "President Vladimir Putin has issued an order placing the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, under Russian management. A presidential decree on the fate of the facility was published on Wednesday.

    The plant will be operated by a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned nuclear power giant Rosatom. For now, it will continue to function under Ukrainian-issued licenses until Russian equivalents are obtained, according to the decree.

    The move comes as Moscow finalizes the accession of four formerly Ukrainian regions – Zaporozhye, Kherson, as well as Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – to Russia. The territories overwhelmingly backed a proposal to join Russia in referendums last month. The votes were firmly rejected by Kiev and its Western backers, who denounced them as “sham” votes.

    In recent weeks, Zaporozhye nuclear power plant has been subjected to repeated missile, artillery and drone attacks, attributed by the Russian military to Ukrainian forces, as well as targeted by saboteurs in apparent attempts to seize the facility from Russian forces. Kiev, along with multiple Western officials, however, has been blaming Moscow for shelling the nuclear facility it controls.
    The Zaporozhye plant was seized by the Russian military early in the ongoing conflict. Until now, however, it has remained under Ukrainian management."


    Putin transfers Europe’s largest nuclear plant to Russian control — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

    5 Oct, 2022 21:13
    HomeWorld News

    EU still poised to explore ‘diplomatic solution’ to Ukraine conflict

    At the same time, the bloc looks forward to launching its own “training mission” for Ukrainian troops.

    :The EU is still ready to seek a “diplomatic solution” to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borell has said. A return to diplomacy, however, would only be possible should “circumstances” allow for this to occur in an unspecified “meaningful” way, he stipulated, in a blog post on Wednesday.
    “We will reinforce our strategy of supporting Ukraine – militarily, financially and politically; upping the pressure on Russia with more sanctions and supporting our international partner to handle the fallout of the war,” Borrell wrote, hailing an upcoming launch of the bloc’s own “training mission” for Kiev’s troops.

    “At the next Foreign Affairs Council on 17 October, I hope we can formally launch our training mission for Ukrainian armed forces. At the same time, we remain ready to pursue a diplomatic solution, should the circumstances return to do so in a meaningful way,” he added."

    https://www.rt.com/news/564131-eu-uk...flict-borrell/

  8. #6308
    Thailand Expat OhOh's Avatar
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    Foreign policy News

    30 September 2022 19:38

    Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the UN Secretary-General’s statements on the referendums in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions and the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics

    2022-30-09-2022

    How dangerous is Vladimir Putin?-maria-jpeg


    "We noted a series of biased, judgmental statements made on September 29 by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as regards the expression of will by the people of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions and the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.

    The Secretary-General said:

    “Any decision to proceed with the annexation of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions of Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned.”

    Let’s recall that Article 97 of the UN Charter identifies the Secretary-General as the “Chief administrative officer of the Organisation.” These functions do not grant the chief of the UN Secretariat the right to make politically charged statements on behalf of the entire organisation. Nor is this person authorised to interpret the standards of the UN Charter and documents of the General Assembly, including the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the UN Charter.

    We would like to emphasise that Article 100 of the UN Charter requires the absence of bias from the employees of the UN Secretariat:

    “They shall refrain from any action which might reflect on their position as international officials responsible only to the Organisation.”

    But what is happening in reality is directly the opposite of these requirements.

    Obviously, in this case Antonio Guterres not only exceeded his authority but also expressed de facto solidarity with the collective West by resorting to a selective approach to interpreting the current developments.

    Thus, the Secretary-General cited the principle of non-use of force in international relations but ignored the principle of the self-determination of nations, which is fixed in the UN Charter.


    Meanwhile, the decisions made by the people of the DPR, LPR, and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions reflect the free expression of their will in full conformity with the 1970 Declaration.

    This declaration indeed guarantees territorial integrity but only to:

    Those states possessed of a government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction as to race, creed or colour.”

    It is perfectly obvious that the Kiev authorities that have harassed a big part of their population for ethnic, religious, language and cultural reasons, do not at all fit this criterion. In addition, according to the said declaration,

    “Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples of their right to self-determination and freedom and independence.”

    In reality, Ukraine was crudely and persistently violating not only this provision but also the Minsk Agreements sealed by UN Security Council Resolution 2202 (2015). It was doing this with the active connivance of the Western countries. When this happened, nobody heard the Secretary-General say a single word denouncing the Kiev regime. Meanwhile, since the moment of the illegal state coup, staged and sponsored by the West, this regime was fighting its own citizens, and everything Russian, including culture, language and identity, for eight years. During all these years, the Kiev regime was shelling, killing, mutilating, abducting and torturing the residents of Donbass.

    However, the Secretary-General preferred to keep silent about this.

    Forgetting about unanimous resolutions of the UN Security Council, the Secretary-General is acting in line with politicised and non-consensus decisions of the General Assembly without thinking twice. Based on this shaky foundation, he gives unlawful instructions to his subordinates. In the process, he ignores our exhaustive explanations to the effect that Russia is taking its steps in strict conformity with Article 51 of the UN Charter.

    Against this backdrop, we are outraged by Antonio Guterres’s silencing of the continued illegal US military invasion of Syria, which is accompanied by the occupation of part of its territory and looting of its natural riches.

    The Secretary-General did not say a word to condemn shameful colonial and neocolonial practices, including the situation around the Island of Mayotte and the Falkland Islands that are still under the colonial domination of France and Britain, respectively.

    The UN Secretariat leadership was silent also when the collective West was improvising its plan to grant independence to Kosovo after its unlawful military invasion of Yugoslavia in violation of the UN Charter.

    At that time, even a referendum was unnecessary.

    The Western countries decided that a declaration of independence adopted by a local government body, unilaterally and obviously in excess of its powers, would be quite enough. We’d like to recall that many of our Western colleagues declared in their written explanations to the UN International Court of Justice that:

    “International law does not prohibit the proclamation of independence.”

    In this context, direct attacks by the UN Secretary-General on the fundamental right of the people of the DPR, LPR and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to self-determination is one more example of hypocrisy and blatant double standards.

    We consider it unacceptable for the UN Secretary-General to turn into an instrument of propaganda and pressure on UN member-states at a time when he must strictly follow all provisions of the UN Charter."

    https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1832119/
    Last edited by OhOh; 06-10-2022 at 05:00 PM.

  9. #6309
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    More shit popaganda.

  10. #6310
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    5 Oct, 2022 16:54 HomeRussia & FSU

    Putin transfers Europe’s largest nuclear plant to Russian control
    "That's a good idea" said absolutely no-one.

    How dangerous is Vladimir Putin?-quot7knm69awtc7rqku5xe-jpg

  11. #6311
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    "That's a good idea" said absolutely no-one.
    Since the Russians are about to get kicked the fuck out of that Oblast, we have to wonder if their troops will be stupid enough to sabotage the power plant that they are going to lose, thereby killing themselves.


  12. #6312
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    we have to wonder if their troops will be stupid enough to sabotage the power plant that they are going to lose, thereby killing themselves.
    They are cowards. They'll run, leaving booby traps behind.

  13. #6313
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    Putin just influenced OPEC and the Saudis to decrease oil production in order to raise oil prices. Russia is a co-chair on OPEC and they are using their position there to flank the sanctions.

  14. #6314
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thailazer View Post
    Putin just influenced OPEC and the Saudis to decrease oil production in order to raise oil prices. Russia is a co-chair on OPEC and they are using their position there to flank the sanctions.
    It doesn't take much for the ragheads to want to trouser more cash.

    If there is one benefit it's that it will accelerate the move away from dependence on fossil fuels; green energy no longer looks like the expensive alternative and no mad dictators or sheikhs can control the wind or the sun.
    Warning: Be cautious if you are a fragile pink

  15. #6315
    Thailand Expat OhOh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    green energy no longer looks like the expensive alternative
    When it delivers for a competitive price and a guaranteed amount, it may be competitive.

    Unfortunately it's currently not, in Europe.

  16. #6316
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    When it delivers for a competitive price and a guaranteed amount, it may be competitive.
    Your idiocy is frightening

  17. #6317
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    Your idiocy is frightening
    I wouldn't say that, but it is quite amazing. He's almost skidmark-like.

  18. #6318
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    I wouldn't say that, but it is quite amazing. He's almost skidmark-like.
    I've often wondered whether the reason he unquestionably swallows and regurgitates his beloved dictators' propaganda is cos he's a bit thick, but I always had him down as a pretty intelligent bloke.

    Weird as fuck, mind, but probably a nice fella in the real world once you get past his abhorrent political views, which do suggest he is a vile piece of shit - granted.

    However, since this war began I'm leaning towards the former. He's thick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hallelujah View Post
    but I always had him down as a pretty intelligent bloke.


    He is a fucking retard.


  20. #6320
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    Forgive my naivety, snubs.

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    I wonder if this really is a real picture of Oh Oh.



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    Quote Originally Posted by hallelujah View Post
    Forgive my naivety, snubs.
    Forgiven now get after the dumb coont!

  23. #6323
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    Putin's dream of Russian victory slips away in Ukraine

    "The truth is on our side and truth is strength!" Vladimir Putin boomed into a microphone on Red Square last week, after a grand ceremony at which he proclaimed four large chunks of Ukrainian territory to be part of Russia.

    "Victory will be ours!"

    How dangerous is Vladimir Putin?-_126998563_f34c6a681b18ab88a25d8b547b92517a80a561dd0_258_4957_27891000x563-jpg


    But in the real world, things look very different.

    Even as Russia's president signed his illegal annexation treaties in the Kremlin, Ukrainian forces were advancing inside the areas he had just seized.

    Hundreds of thousands of men have been fleeing Russia rather than be drafted to fight in an expanding war.

    And things are going so badly on the battlefield that Mr Putin and his loyalists are now reframing what they once claimed was the "de-Nazification" of Ukraine and the protection of Russian speakers as an existential fight against the entire "collective" West.

    That is the truth and none of it is on Russia's side.
    Victim of his system

    "He's in a blind zone. It seems he's not really seeing what's happening," the editor of Riddle Russia, Anton Barbashin, argues of Russia's president.

    Like many, the political analyst believes that Mr Putin was caught completely off-guard by strong Western support for Kyiv, as well as Ukraine's own fierce resistance to occupation.

    As he turns 70 today, after more than 20 years in power, it seems Russia's leader has become a victim of his own system. His autocratic style is impeding his access to sound intelligence.

    GALEOTTI: Seven key moments that made Putin

    "You can't question his ideas," explains Tatyana Stanovaya, the head of R.Politik analysis firm.

    "Everyone who works with Mr Putin knows his picture of the world and of Ukraine, they know his expectations. They can't deliver him information that contradicts his vision. That's just how it works."

    The president's latest address, delivered beneath the gilded Kremlin chandeliers, re-stated his vision of a new world order.
    Vladimir Putin
    Getty Images

    The ongoing collapse of Western hegemony is irreversible: things will never be the same. The battlefield to which destiny and history have called us is a battlefield for our people

    Vladimir Putin
    Russian President

    1px transparent line

    It involves a mighty Russia, a cowed Western world that has been forced to learn respect and Kyiv subjugated once again to Moscow.

    To attain that, Ukraine is Mr Putin's chosen battlefield.

    Even as his ambitions appear most illusory, he looks in no mood to scale back.

    "A lot of major calculations the Kremlin was working with did not pan out and it doesn't seem like Putin has a Plan B, other than keeping on pushing people to the front line and hoping that sheer numbers will prevent Ukraine from advancing further," Anton Barbashin believes.
    Reluctant recruits

    "Pushing people to the front" is a significant shift in itself.

    Vladimir Putin continues to call his invasion a "special military operation" - styling it as limited in scope and short-lived.

    Many Russians were able to accept that - even support it - while it didn't affect them directly. But the mobilisation of military reservists has turned something distant and abstract into a very close and personal risk.

    Regional politicians are falling over themselves in a Soviet-style race to overfulfill their quotas, calling up as many men as possible.

    "This is a shaping moment. For the majority of Russians, the war just started a couple of weeks ago," Anton Barbashin says.

    "In the first months, the people dying were mostly from the peripheries and smaller centres. But mobilisation will eventually change that, as the coffins will come back to Moscow and St Petersburg."
    'Simply awful' conditions

    The call-up has spawned reams of social media chatter by wives and mothers of the new recruits - those who did not rush for the borders when the mobilisation was announced.

    Some of their posts - and videos by the men themselves - reveal grim conditions: poor food, old weapons and a lack of basic medical supplies. The women discuss sending sanitary towels to pad the men's boots and tampons to pack their wounds.

    The Kursk regional governor has described conditions in several military units as "simply awful", even down to a shortage of uniforms.
    Roman Starovoyt
    Kremlin

    I am perplexed how the current defence ministry training unit can be in such a state: Ruined dining room; broken and rusty showers; a lack of beds and any beds they have are broken

    Roman Starovoyt
    Kursk governor

    1px transparent line

    Such revelations blow holes in one of Vladimir Putin's proudest claims: that he has rebuilt the Russian military into a professional fighting force in which patriotic citizens will want to serve.

    But for now, most recruits' wives seem focused on rallying behind their troops.

    "We're at the stage where a significant part of Russian society still believes that 'Russia is a great power combating Nato in Ukraine' and sending tampons, socks and toothbrushes to the mobilised is a sign of patriotism," Anton Barbashin tweeted this week.
    Censorship collapses

    But the mobilisation mess, and Russia's military embarrassment, are pushing more prominent figures to speak out.

    When liberals condemned the Ukraine invasion, they were arrested and many are still behind bars.

    Even calling it a war is illegal.

    In pro-Kremlin circles, that word is now commonplace, though, as is fierce criticism of Russia's military command.

    MP Andrei Kartapolov was the latest this week to urge the defence ministry to "stop lying" about Russian difficulties, because "our people are far from stupid".
    Russians arrive in Kazakhstan crossing the Syrym border crossing point on September 27, 2022Image source, Getty Images
    Image caption,
    As many Russians have fled over the border with Kazakhstan as have been drafted into the army in the past two weeks

    Margarita Simonyan, editor of RT television channel, cited Stalin's practice of executing "cowards" and "incompetent" generals.

    But there is no public questioning of the invasion itself, let alone of Vladimir Putin.

    Margarita Simonyan refers to him as "The Boss" and becomes glassy-eyed talking of the annexation of Ukrainian territory as a historic achievement.

    "There is no anti-war political movement," Tatyana Stanovaya points out, especially in a politically repressive climate.

    "Even those against the mobilisation are opting to escape. Some try to leave the country, others are hiding. But we don't see attempts to create any political resistance."

    This could change, she says, if Russia continues to lose and suck in ever more troops.

    "Putin has to deliver some victories."

    ON THE GROUND: Inside Ukrainian city under fire
    HUMAN COST: Bodies and burned buildings in liberated Lyman
    KHERSON: Ukraine recaptures southern villages

    'Holy' war with the West

    Even the president hinted at problems this week, describing the situation in the annexed regions as "restive".

    But there is a giant push to blame Russia's setbacks on the "collective" West which is backing Ukraine.

    State media hosts are now describing the land-grab in Ukraine as something far grander, apparently buoying the nation up for a bigger fight.

    "It's our war with total Satanism", no less, Vladimir Solovyov told viewers this week.

    "This is not about Ukraine. The West's aim is clear. Regime change and dismembering Russia, so that Russia no longer exists," he bellowed.

    That is the "truth" that Vladimir Putin believes in and it is why this moment of objective weakness for Russia is also a moment of risk.

    "This war is existential for Russia and so for Putin, victory has to be possible," Tatyana Stanovaya argues.

    And "he has nuclear weapons", she says bluntly.

    "I think he hopes that at some level of nuclear escalation, the West will step away from Ukraine."

    She's not the only one to note Mr Putin's more radical, near-messianic tone.

    "It feels like this is what he actually believes: that this is the last stand of the Russian Empire, an all-out war with the West," says Anton Barbashin.

    "That we're at the finish line, whether Russia makes it or not."

    Of course, that's also the "truth" that Vladimir Putin now needs the West to believe, more than ever.

    Putin'''s dream of Russian victory slips away in Ukraine - BBC News

  24. #6324
    Thailand Expat helge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    "special military operation"
    He must have had a "special" 70 year birthday

  25. #6325
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    "Everyone who works with Mr Putin knows his picture of the world and of XXXXXX, they know his expectations. They can't deliver him information that contradicts his vision. That's just how it works."
    He has learned well from history, Adolf would be proud of him . . . though he is a bit of a failure on the battlefront


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