Putin accused of betraying Russian army as public backlash grows

Ukraine: Russian incendiary munitions rain over Donetsk region

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The Russian President and his generals have been rocked by Ukraine’s blistering counterattack in the Kharkiv region. Ukraine’s forces are sweeping all before them as they reconquer vast tracts of territory in the northeast of the country. Putin’s army is reported to be in disarray and chaos as they flee from Zelensky’s advancing forces.

Russian troops are reported to have abandoned Izyum, a key logistical centre for Moscow’s army in the east.

The capture of the city represents a massive blow for Putin, and seriously impacts the ability of his army to continue its offensive in Ukraine’s Donbas region.

Russian officials, however, have tried to downplay the gravity of the situation to the pubic at home.

The Ministry of Defence framed the retreat of the army from Izyum as a “regrouping” of forces to support their war efforts in the Donetsk direction.

They also falsely claimed that Russian forces undertook a number of demonstrative actions and used artillery and aviation to ensure the safety of withdrawing troops.

The refusal to acknowledge the realities of the conflict has enraged patriotic Russian bloggers, who have accused Putin and his regime of betraying their own soldiers.

War Informant, one of the most active and prominent of the bloggers, wrote: “Colleagues, in fact, the current deathly silence of the Ministry of Defence about the real situation and the reasons for certain decisions is far from the first.

“All this looks like a conscious progressive self-isolation from reality, as though if you keep silent about the situation from the high stands, then the population will not know anything.

“But the population knew everything long before the next briefing began.

“To talk about the next destroyed ‘nationalists’ and their warehouses, but not to say a word about the realities of what is happening in the Kharkiv direction, means to betray those who fought there and are still fighting.”

Volodymyr Zelensky could not resist the temptation to mock Putin in his latest nightly TV address on Saturday.

The Ukrainian President hailed the successes of his troops, while belittling the Russian army.

He said: “These days, the Russian army is showing its best – showing its back.

“And, in the end, it is a good choice for them to run away.

“There is and will be no place for the occupiers in Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukrainian forces had demonstrated they were capable of defeating the Russian army with the Western weapons given to them.

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He urged Western leaders to continue to supply Kyiv with weapons, so Putin could be defeated once and for all.

He said: “And so I reiterate: the more weapons we receive, the faster we will win, and the faster this war will end.”

Putin is facing increasing domestic unrest from the Russian public, who appear to have lost confidence in their leader’s ability to prosecute the war in Ukraine.

In the latest move against the regime, municipal officials from a district in Moscow called on the Russian President to resign.

This follows calls by councillors in Saint Petersburg for Putin to be tried for treason.

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