A senior Ukrainian military official said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “living in fear for his life” as his army withdrew.
Earlier this month, Russia announced its withdrawal from the Kherson region, marking one of the most embarrassing defeats for Putin and a potential turning point in a war now in its ninth month.
The loss of Kherson, the only regional capital captured by Russia in the conflict, dealt a blow to plans to create a land corridor to Crimea and secure the peninsula’s water supply under Russian control.
” [Putin] Oleksey Aristovich, adviser to the Chief of Staff of the President of Ukraine, told LN Once.
“He is fighting for his life now. If he loses the war, at least in the minds of the Russians, it means the end. His end as a political figure. And perhaps in a physical sense.”
Ukraine’s victory over Kherson came after a series of humiliating withdrawals of Kremlin forces in the Kharkiv and Donbass regions.
“It made even the very pro-Putin people question their ability to win this war,” Aristovich said.
He said the liberation of Kherson had led to new Russian strikes on the country’s infrastructure and planned a new offensive from Russia’s ally Belarus into northern Ukraine. Putin’s forces advanced towards Kyiv from Belarus early in the war, but were forced to retreat after stiff resistance.
Ukrainian authorities have begun evacuating civilians from recently liberated parts of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, fearing that a lack of heat and power would make living conditions too difficult in winter due to Russian bombing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says millions of people are in Ukraine and will face ‘life-threatening’ conditions in the coming months, as people in southern regions are told to move to more safe areas in the center and west of the country.
Aristovich reiterated Ukraine’s goal of regaining all territories occupied by Russia, including Crimea and the Black Sea peninsula that the Kremlin annexed in 2014.
Meanwhile, Putin this week touted Russia’s arctic power with a flag-raising ceremony and the launch of a dock for nuclear-powered cutters that will provide year-round navigation in western Russia.
Heading a video link from the Kremlin at the launch ceremony in the former imperial capital St. Petersburg in northern Russia, Putin said the icebreakers were of strategic importance for the country.
“The two icebreakers were laid down as part of a large serial project and part of our large-scale, systematic work to re-equip and replenish the national icebreaker fleet, in order to strengthen Russia’s position as a great power in the Arctic,” Putin said. .
The Arctic is taking on increasing strategic importance due to the climate crisis, as the shrinking ice sheet opens up new shipping lanes. There are huge oil and gas resources in the arctic regions of Russia, including the LNG plant on the Yamal Peninsula.
Putin smiled as the nuclear icebreaker in Yakutia was launched into the waters at the docks and stood as the Russian national anthem hoisted the Russian flag over the Ural icebreaker, which will enter service in December.
The Russian president also announced his intention to meet the mothers of reservists who were called up to fight in Ukraine.
The war has killed and wounded tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides, according to the United States, and the Russian invasion sparked the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the meeting with the soldiers’ mothers, which was first reported by Vedomosti. Russia celebrates Mother’s Day on November 27.
“In fact, such a meeting is planned, and we can confirm it,” Peskov told reporters, when asked if Putin would hold a meeting with the families of those mobilized.
Such a meeting is in the making.
The president often holds such meetings, and not all of them are public. In any case, the president receives first-hand information about the real situation.