Putin Is Even Being Publicly Blasted By His Own Russian Bloggers Over His Handling Of The Disastrous War With Ukraine

It was supposed to be over quickly. When Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, everyone expected the neighboring nation to fold within days. Instead Ukraine fought back. Instead one nation after another turned on Russia. Instead Russia faced untold sanctions and fleeing businesses. Throughout it all, state TV — and a handful of Americans — have tried to spin it as a win. But now, amid ongoing defeats, even some of Vladimir Putin’s biggest cheerleaders are turning on him.

As per The New York Times, bloggers who’ve stuck by Putin’s side over the last six months-plus have finally been complaining. When the Russian president threw a big to-do for the 875th anniversary of Moscow — while the nation’s soldiers were hastily retreated from parts of northeastern Ukraine they once controlled — some were appalled by the dissonance.

“You’re throwing a billion-ruble party,” one pro-Putin blogger wrote. “What is wrong with you? Not at the time of such a horrible failure.”

While Russian State TV has simply been merely depressed by the setbacks, they stop short of criticism. Not so on Telegram, where content can’t be policed and where attacks on Putin and military leaders have reportedly been growing. For one thing, bloggers — some of whom are embedded with the troops — been reporting on the difficulties Russian soldiers face, from poor leadership to supply shortages. It was bloggers who first reported that Ukraine may push back against Russian forces in the northeast, which they then did.

“It’s time to punish the commanders who allowed these kinds of things,” another blogger wrote after Russian forces were driven out of the northeast. Another called the retreat a “catastrophe.” One, Yuri Podolyaka, told his 2.3 million Telegram followers that Russians may “cease to trust the Ministry of Defense and soon the government as a whole.”

Mind you, this does not mean that the tide is turning against the war amongst Russians. As Dmitri Kuznets, an analyst who reports for the Russian-language news outlet Meduza, explains, “I think the biggest group among these people believes that it is necessary to fight harder and carry out a mobilization.” In other words, they don’t want Russia to give up the fight.

(Via NYT)