Faced with the Ukrainian counter-offensive, the Russian power wants to be impassive, despite some critical voices

No “withdrawal”even less than “disbandment”. The Russian army is carrying out an operation of “grouping” in the Karkhiv region of Ukraine, Russian state television has been explaining on a loop for two days. In the pro-government media, the reality of the Ukrainian offensive is recognized but most reports seek to minimize its impact. impact. “It was suicidal to leave the detachment in Izyum under such difficult conditions, the Russian command took the only right decision”writes the Komsomolskaya Pravda, traditionally aligned with the positions of Russian power. The daily insists that kyiv launched “in the battle of units freshly trained by NATO instructors and foreign mercenaries” and that their advance was contained “by artillery and air strikes”.

Quoted by the official agency RIA Novosti, the Russian General Staff affirms that, “between September 6 and 10, the Ukrainian Armed Forces lost more than 4,000 soldiers killed and more than 8,000 wounded in the cities of Mykolayiv and Kharkiv alone”. On the wire of the Tass agency, the head of the separatist republic of Donetsk, Denis Pushilin explains that the situation is “tense but controlled”, which in itself can be analyzed as an admission of difficulties given his previous statements. On the first television channel Pierviï Kanal, the “grouping” Russian troops is one title among others, in the middle of the “release” new localities in the Republic of Donetsk and “high precision strikes” on military objectives.

Putin inaugurates a Ferris wheel

At the top of power, no comment. On Monday, Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting devoted to the country’s economic prospects, as planned, during which he was delighted that, faced with the “economic blitzkrieg” imposed by the West, the Russian economy “is gradually stabilizing, and is part of a growth trajectory”.

Asked whether army officials still had the president’s confidence, his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, confined himself to saying that “the special military operation will continue until each of its objectives is achieved”. On Saturday, Vladimir Putin took part in the celebrations of the 875th anniversary of the founding of the city of Moscow, in a fair atmosphere. Before the traditional fireworks above the Kremlin, the Russian leader inaugurated the highest Ferris wheel in Europe (140 m) in VDNK Park. The stoppage of the attraction the next day, due to technical problems, was the only visible annoyance of the weekend for the power.

Some critical voices are raised among pro and anti-Kremlin

Nevertheless, some critical voices have been raised in recent hours in Russia, on the loops of pro-Kremlin Telegram messaging. One of them, counting 750,000 subscribers writes: “The events in Karkhiv can reasonably be called a catastrophe”. Ukrainian pro-Russian blogger Yuri Podoliaka, based in Moscow, puts it bluntly: “I have to be honest, we lost a battle”. On other sons, the incompetence of the military and of the Minister of Defense, Sergei Choigou, who is regularly accused of not having served in the army, is criticized. The political commentator close to the nationalist right Egor Kholmogorov is even more radical: “We have been betrayed. Our army is unfit for action.”

At the other end of the political spectrum, deputies from 18 municipal districts signed a petition calling for the resignation of Vladimir Putin. These elected officials write that they believe that “President Putin’s actions are detrimental to the future of Russia and its citizens”, while being careful not to mention the war in Ukraine to avoid falling under the law on “discrimination of the armed forces”. For having omitted it, another group of deputies from a district of Saint Petersburg will soon appear in court. The text they sent to the Duma last Friday calls for the impeachment of the Russian president for “treason”considering that the decision to start the war “harms the security of Russia and its citizens”.

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Faced with the Ukrainian counter-offensive, the Russian power wants to be impassive, despite some critical voices

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