For the decades during which Vladimir Putin has been in power, the unwritten rule has always been to never question the Russian president, lest you become the latest victim of what some have dubbed Falling Window Syndrome. While recent reports claim that Putin himself is hunkered down in a nuclear bunker after realizing he waged a losing war, publicly, that’s unlikely something he’d ever admit. But a few loyal Kremlin propagandists have begun speaking truth to power and admitting what is obvious to the rest of the world: Ukraine is winning the war.
Among those brave enough to come right out and say what everyone else can see is Sergey Mardan. According to The Daily Beast, the Russian state TV host opened his Saturday show “with heavy sighs” following Ukraine’s humiliating attack on the Crimean Bridge (an attack that Putin, of all people, has described as a terrorist act.) “All day long we’ll be talking about how this happened and what will come of it,” Mardan said. “I can tell you right now that nothing good will come of it, that’s for sure. They’ve achieved an enormous propagandistic effect.”
As a key part of Putin’s propaganda machine, Mardan certainly knows of what he speaks. But he took a huge step outside his role as one of Kremlin TV’s talking heads by repeatedly admitting that Russia had underestimated Ukraine’s strength and determination — though he sort of suspects the United States may have a lot to do with it.
“There was no shock that they would try to attack the Crimean bridge,” Mardan said, “but there was an initial shock that they managed to pull it off, especially in the early morning hours… Many competent people explain that this was a complicated task — not just journalists or commentators, but specialists. There is a high level of certainty that an operation of this magnitude could have been staged only by Western intelligence agencies.”
Mardan reminded viewers of the initial promises that Russia’s attack on Ukraine would be swift and relatively painless, and would result in near-immediate victory — a fantasy that clearly was either a lie or a huge miscalculation. Mardan encouraged his viewers to see Ukraine for what it truly is (at least in his mind) — and to realize that agreeing to peaceably conclude the fighting is the only way forward (an opinion that isn’t likely to win him any brownie points with Vlad).
“Ukraine is a cruel, motivated, well-prepared enemy,” Mardan said. “This is an enemy nation that has been waging a full-fledged war against us for at least seven and a half months. We keep calling it a special military operation, but they are waging war… Good Lord, I can’t keep listening to this thick and sticky rhetoric, it’s time to stop talking about the peace process and the collective West. This rhetoric doesn’t look good — in fact, it’s harmful. Since the mobilization has been announced, we’re talking about war, a people’s war.”
Mardan didn’t get much support from his guests, who did a better job of sticking to the pro-Russia script. One of them, Russian politician Alexander Kazakov, even commented that “If we win, we’ll take back what’s ours and whatever is [Ukraine’s] as well.”
Mardan might want to be careful when walking past any large windows.
(Via The Daily Beast)