The Russian president shouted: “The truth is on our side, and the truth is strength!” Russian President Vladimir Putinat a microphone in Moscow’s Red Square last week, after a ceremony in which he announced that four large parts of Ukrainian territory are now part of the Russia.
“Victory will be ours!”
But in the real world, the situation is completely different.
Hundreds of thousands of men flee from Russia Not being recruited to fight in a war that is still expanding.
And things are going so badly on the battlefield that Putin and his supporters are now paraphrasing what they claim is a “distortion.” Ukraine And the protection of Russian-speaking people as an existential struggle against the entire “collective” West.
This is the truth – and none of it is preferred Russia.
victim of the system itself
“He’s in a blind spot. He doesn’t really seem to see what’s going on,” says Riddle Russia editor, Anton Barbashin of President Russia.
Like many, the political analyst believes that Putin was quite surprised by the strong Western support for Kiev, as well as the strong resistance from Ukraine to occupy.
Having completed 70 years on Friday (10/7), after more than 20 years in power, he appears to be a leader Russia She became a victim of her own system. Your authoritarian style prevents you from reaching tangible intelligence.
“You can’t question his ideas,” explains Tatiana Stanovaya, president of the analytics company R.Politik.
Everyone who works with Putin knows his view of the world and UkraineHe knows your expectations. They cannot provide him with information that contradicts his opinion. This is how it works.”
The president’s last speech, delivered under the gilded Kremlin chandeliers, reaffirmed his vision of a new world order.
It involves Russia A powerful, terrifying Western scientist is forced to learn to respect him and Kyiv is once again subjugated to Moscow.
To achieve this, the Ukraine It is Putin’s chosen battlefield.
Although his ambitions seem largely deceptive, he doesn’t seem willing to back down.
“A lot of the important calculations the Kremlin has been working with didn’t work out, and Putin doesn’t seem to have a plan B, other than to keep pushing people to the front lines hoping that the absolute numbers will prevent Ukraine to go further, ”evaluates Anton Barbashin.
“Pushing people to the fore” is an important shift in itself.
Putin continues to call his invasion a “special military operation” – introducing it as limited in scope and short-lived.
Many Russians were able to accept this – and even support it – as long as it did not affect them directly. But calling in reservists turned something remote and abstract into a very personal and personal risk.
Regional politicians are racing against each other in a Soviet-style race to fill their quotas by calling in as many men as possible.
“This is a decisive moment,” says Anton Barbashin. “For most Russians, the war began a few weeks ago.”
“In the first months, the people who died were mainly from the periphery and the smaller centers. But the crowd (by reservists) will end up changing that, with the coffins going back to Moscow and St. Petersburg.”
just awful circumstances
The call generated long exchanges of messages on social media from the wives and mothers of the new recruits – those who did not run to the border when the mobilization was announced.
Some of the posts — and videos from the men themselves — reveal horrific conditions: poor food, old weapons, and a lack of basic medical supplies. Women discuss sending sanitary pads to line men’s shoes and tampons to cover their wounds.
Governor of the Kursk region, in RussiaHe described conditions in many military units as “simply appalling,” even with no uniforms.
Such discoveries have punched holes in one of Putin’s most proud claims: that he has rebuilt the Russian military into a professional fighting force that patriots will want to serve.
But for now, the women in most recruits seem to focus on supporting their forces.
“We are at a stage where a large part of Russian society still believes that ‘the Russia It is a superpower fighting NATO in Ukraine“Sending socks and toothbrushes to recruits is a sign of patriotism,” Anton Barbashin tweeted this week.
But the confusion caused by the summons and the military restrictions of Russia Pay eminent persons to speak.
When the liberals condemned the invasion UkraineThey were arrested – and many are still behind bars.
Even calling this operation a war is illegal.
In pro-Kremlin circles, the word “war” is now common, as well as harsh criticism of the Kremlin’s military leadership. Russia.
MP Andrei Kartapolov was the latest to appeal this week to the Defense Ministry to “stop lying” about Russia’s difficulties, because “our people are far from stupid.”
Many Russians have fled across the border to Kazakhstan and have been drafted into the army in the past two weeks. Image: Getty Images via BBC
Margarita Simonyan, editor of the television channel RT, noted Joseph Stalin’s practice of executing “cowardly” and “incompetent” generals.
But there is no public questioning of the invasion itself, let alone that Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Margarita Simonyan refers to him as “The President”.
“There is no anti-war political movement,” asserts Tatiana Stanovaya, especially in a politically repressive climate. Even those opposing the crowd chose to flee. Some are trying to leave the country, others are in hiding. But we do not see attempts to create political resistance.”
That could change, you say, if it Russia Keep losing and absorbing more and more troops.
Putin has to score some victories.”
A “holy” war with the West
Even the president hinted at unrest this week, describing the situation in the annexed areas as “turbulent”.
State media presenters now describe land grabs in Ukraine As something much bigger seems to push the nation into a broader conflict.
“This is our war with complete Satanism,” TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov told his viewers this week. Solovyov is a staunch supporter of Putin.
This is the “truth” that Putin believes in – and that’s why this moment of objective weakness Russia It’s also a time to take risks.
“This war is existential for Russia Thus, for Putin, victory should be possible,” argues Tatiana Stanovaya, an analyst at R.Politik.
“He has nuclear weapons,” she recalls.
“I think he hopes the West will move away from him at some level of nuclear escalation,” he said Ukraine. ”
And she’s not the only one who has hinted at Putin’s more radical and quasi-messianic tone.
“It seems that this is what he really believes in: it is the last battle of the Russian Empire, an all-out war with the West,” says Anton Barbashin of Riddell Russia. We are also at the finish line Russia Get it or not.”
Of course this is the “truth”. Russian President Vladimir Putin Now the West needs to believe it more than ever.
Map showing Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine in October 2022. – Photo: BBC
– This text was published at http://bbc.co.uk/portuguese/internacional-63162237
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