‘Putin is damaged property’ Russians gravely ‘disillusioned’ with President’s failures

Putin: Russian public 'disillusioned' with leader says Rifkind

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Sir Malcom Rifkind, former foreign secretary under John Major, said that it “may take quite some time” before Russia can remove or replace Vladimir Putin. He added that the West will not be able to get rid of him and that it has to come from within Russia. But he said that the Russian public must be “gravely disillusioned” with Putin, notwithstanding the Russian State media bias, given the number of people killed in Ukraine. 

Sir Malcom told Sky News: “It may take quite some time before the Russian public is able to find a new leader. I don’t know whether they will or not, that’s up to them. It’s not up to me or anyone in the West

“They must be gravely disillusioned with this man who has led them into a war that never should have been started in the first place. 

“And which we know, according to their estimates, has claimed the lives of 15,000 Russian soldiers and probably another 20,000 seriously injured. 

“That is not what Putin intended when he started this war.” 

Surveys have suggested Russians are overwhelmingly in favour of their President’s action in Ukraine but the veracity of those reports are dubious.

Describing the conflict in Ukraine as a “war” or an “invasion” has been outlawed in Russia, with people afraid to speak out. 

For those that do oppose the invasion, they face the likelihood of detainment and up to to 15 years imprisonment. 

A Russian court also forbade Facebook and Instagram, labelling its parent company Meta “extremist”, effectively removing opportunity for Western influence on the nation. 

During the hearing, a representative for Russia’s FSB security service, Igor Kovalevsky, said that Meta was cultivating an “alternative reality”. 

Mr Kovalevsky accused the Silicon Valley company of building a platform on which “hatred for Russians was kindled”. 

He added: “The activities of the Meta organisation are directed against Russia and its armed forces.” 

But they stopped short of banning WhatsApp, which they described as a messaging platform not an informational tool. 

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In a series of interviews on Youtube, conducted by Daniil Orain, which were then published by the Express, 100 Russians were asked whether they supported the “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Though responses were mixed, with some saying they felt guilty about it; others saying they were ashamed, a large percentage of respondents declined to comment. 

One young woman said: “I’m very sorry about it, but this is not the fault of civilians. These are the games of politicians.”

Another reacted: “To think rationally, it’s not my fault. It’s not my responsibility. I had nothing to do with it.”

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