Russians are in the middle of a somewhat confusing winter season as their conscripts are pushed to face Ukrainians backed by Western training and weaponry.
It could be one of Russia’s press strategies to hold an awards ceremony honoring the efforts of their soldiers during the war, but Russian President Vladimir Putin did not hold back while talking to the press while holding a glass of guzzled champagne. In the interview, he was asked about the war’s progress, and he said there has been a lot of speculation about the attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. He also said that even though Russia is facing global criticisms, this will not deter their military missions to fully invade Ukraine.
“There’s a lot of noise about our strikes on the energy infrastructure of a neighboring country. Yes, we do that. But who started it?”
Putin, apparently, is pointing the blame back at Ukraine for allegedly attacking the Crimean bridge. He added that Ukraine should also be blamed for its horrendous act of “genocide” by not providing water to Donetsk after it was occupied by Russia a couple months ago.
“Not supplying water to a city of more than a million people is an act of genocide,” Putin said while chugging his sparkly champagne.
At the same time, he accused the West of being silent when it came to the atrocities committed by Ukrainians. He said there was a clear bias against Russians during the war.
“As soon as we move and do something in response, there is uproar and clamour spreading through the whole universe.”
Yesterday, it was reported that Russian shelling killed 10 people and injured many others in the town of Kurakhove as Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko prepares citizens for a potential “apocalypse” scenario in the city.
Before the interview, Putin said that he acknowledges the heroes who are part of the war.
“Every fighter on the front line is a hero for me and for all our fellow citizens.”
The elegant awards ceremony was attended by key military figures like the member of the State of Duma Valentina Tereshkova, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Wagner Founder Yevgeny Prigozhin.
With Putin’s outright acknowledgment in his remarks, one Twitter user said: “Wobbling, with a smirk and a glass of champagne in his hand, Putin confesses to a war crime – to deliberate strikes on Ukraine in order to destroy the civilian population.”
Moscow Continues to Rally Nationalists to Support the War
Russia’s population broadly supports President Vladimir Putin’s push into Ukraine, according to a poll conducted by the Independent Levada Center The survey showed that 68% of Russians backed increased military presence in Ukraine while only 18% opposed the invasion. Now, the needle has moved to only 58% of Russians supporting the war, while 23% oppose it. This level of support has remained relatively consistent throughout the conflict despite international condemnation.
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One factor driving this strong public approval is the Kremlin’s aggressive narrative and disinformation campaign. The government has consistently portrayed the events in Ukraine as a civil war between a pro-Russian minority and an opposing Ukrainian majority and has accused Western countries of orchestrating a coup to oust former president Viktor Yanukovych. This narrative has been widely accepted among Russians, with 61% believing that their country intervened in Ukraine only to protect its interests and 58% supporting the annexation of Crimea and further expansion into other Ukrainian territories.
Another explanation why public opinion remains supportive of Putin’s policies is rising patriotism among Russians following the outbreak of violence in Eastern Ukraine and subsequent sanctions from Western countries. As a result, there is now growing nationalist sentiment across Russia, with many citizens displaying loyalty to Putin and his policies despite economic hardship and falling living standards caused by international sanctions imposed on Moscow after its intervention in Ukraine.
“Fewer than half of respondents who live in cities of more than 1 million people — 48 percent — supported the invasion. A higher proportion of Russians who reported that their personal finances had improved or remained steady in the past year backed the war, compared with respondents who said their financial situation had worsened.”
Furthermore, some experts argue that many Russians remain sympathetic towards Ukrainian separatists due to cultural similarities between the two nations — with much-shared history before becoming separate states after World War II — which could explain why few Russians oppose their government’s actions regarding Ukraine even though those actions have led to devastating consequences for both sides involved in the conflict.
“Considering the government control of media and information in Russia, and the natural tendency of populations around the world to rally around their leadership in times of crisis, it is surprising to see this comparatively limited level of support for Putin and his government’s actions,” said Gary Langer, a U.S.-based polling expert who runs a research firm.
As such, it is clear that Russia’s population firmly supports Putin’s push for a Ukraine invasion despite potential risks associated with such a move, according to critics. The Kremlin continues to rely heavily on local media outlets providing an uncritical view of the situation while ignoring any opposing arguments or valid points made by those opposed to their policies when it comes to justifying their actions regarding Ukraine leading up to today.
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