‘They will demand change’ Putin faces could face coup as troops struggle in Ukraine

Putin is a 'weak' strategic player in warfare says expert

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As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to press on, the invading army has found itself struggling for war supplies with many soldiers voicing their complaints about the war, according to reports. Moscow’s men haven’t achieved what many feared they would at the start of the war. While they have taken hold of 20 percent of Ukraine, most cities remain under Kyiv’s control. Academic and Russia expert, Olga Lautman, told Express.co.uk if Russia continues to suffer setbacks, the Russian public could turn on Putin.

She said: “Putin, for him, this is a matter of his survival. He is using the nationalistic rhetoric to rally people in the country, and there these tensions that go back a century between Russians and Ukrainians, so it is easy for Putin to do this.

“With Russians, they do like a strong leader, so if he gets humiliated, they will start demanding a change.

“In this case, Putin has put himself in a place where he has no choice but to continue this war, or that’s it for him.”

She added: “In Russia, there is loyalty until there isn’t loyalty.

“For now everyone is loyal, but only until they see weakness from him.

“Putin is definitely at risk and that is why he is locked in this position, because domestically he has put himself at risk of an overthrow.”

For now, Putin’s propaganda is working in Russia.

The latest polling shows 77 percent of Russians currently back the war, per a survey ran by the Levada Center.

Russian state television is how most in the country get their news, meaning many only see the Kremlin’s version of events.

Putin and his colleagues have maintained throughout the conflict they have not “invaded” Ukraine, but instead launched a “special military operation” to “denazify” their neighbour.

But it appears not all Russian soldiers are buying this narrative.

In two videos shared online this week, and reported by the Guardian, fighters from Russian-controlled east Ukraine complained about poor conditions exhaustion.

One said: “Our personnel have faced hunger and cold.

“For a significant period, we were without any material, medical or food support.”

Another added: “Given our continuous presence and the fact that amongst our personnel there are people with chronic medical issues, people with mental issues, many questions arise that are ignored by the higher-ups at headquarters.”

A third Russian soldier told the Guardian: “I have been fighting in Ukraine since the start of the war, it has been over three months now.

“It is exhausting, my whole unit wants a break, but our leadership said they can’t replace us right now.”

Meanwhile Ukraine’s intelligence agency has made more claims which could suggest Russian soldiers are struggling.

They have said Russian troops are using “fake marriages” in order to escape the fighting.

A wiretapped recording of a conversation between a Russian soldier and his friend was released.

In it, a Russian soldier is heard saying: “Either you get wounded, killed or there’s an official order to withdraw.

“I already f****** told one of my female friends, ‘go submit an application to the marriage registration office. I’ll f****** tell them about it here'”.

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“She said, ‘no f****** way, that’s not an option’.

“Everyone here is trying any possible way [to get out] … but there’s no way.”

As reported by the Telegraph, the audio was released by the Security Service of Ukraine.

However, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, has said today that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is going as Moscow planned.

He made the comments while in Turkey, where he met with Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss global grain supplies impacted by the war.

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