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Putin's one 'trump card' as Russia's sanctions take toll and desperation sinks in




Vladimir Putin could ‘shatter’ NATO will over Ukraine conflict

The West has responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by imposing a severe set of sanctions, labelled as “economic blitzkrieg” by Putin. The UK’s Treasury Committee noted yesterday that the US, EU, and UK’s measures against Russia will cause “a significant hit to the size of its economy and significant inflation”. The cross party’s committee reported that further sanctions against Russian energy imports could also have “catastrophic and long lasting” effects if fully implemented. 

Russian shops have seen massive shortages of sugar and buckwheat, while the prices of essential products, such as tampons, have skyrocketed.

However, according to former BBC Moscow correspondent Mr Connolly, Putin’s propaganda machine has managed to convince masses of Russia’s population that the invasion of Ukraine is justified. 

Mr Connolly told “There are lots of stories reported from Ukraine where Ukranians, many of whom, millions of whom, have got relatives in Russia. Millions of Ukranians are married to Russians. 

“People have talked about being on the phone to their relatives in Russia saying ‘Our cities are being destroyed by Russian artillery’ and Russians don’t believe them.

Read More: Putin suffers blow as Russian ship obliterated in Black Sea – picture


Putin has one “trump card” which has kept the Russian people onside (Image: Getty)


Russia is feeling the effects of sanctions (Image: Getty)

“Partly because you don’t want to believe. I’ve been in quite a lot of wars over the course of my career ‒ nobody ever thinks they’re the bad guy.”

Putin justified Russia’s invasion of it’s neighbour by claiming there was a need to “denazify” Ukraine, a country whose democratically-elected President is Jewish with relatives who died in the Holocaust. 

Nevertheless, Putin labelled Volodymyr Zelensky’s government as a “gang of drug addict and neo-Nazis” and urged the Ukranian people to not let “neo-Nazis use your children, wives and elders as human shield”.

Last week, the Russian President continued to peddle the lie when he held a pro-war rally in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.


Some Russian citizens don’t believe what’s taking place in Ukraine (Image: Getty)

Putin addressed the Russian people while standing behind a banner that said: “For a world without Nazism. For Russia.”

Though Western critics have rightly labelled the baseless claim as absurd and offensive, Mr Connolly noted that lie is Putin’s key “trump card” as it resonates with a key moment in Russian history.

Mr Connolly said: “Why does Putin keep talking about denazification? It’s because he knows it’s Russia’s only trump card historically. 

“It’s the only time in modern times when Russia held the moral highground was when it was the primary engine for defeating Nazi Germany. 

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Russia’s fight against Nazi Germany was one of the few moments Russia held the “moral highground” (Image: Getty)

“Hence the constant references to it. 

“And the Russians – did those conscript soldiers really believe they were going in to liberate?

“[Did they think] that there would be Ukranians dancing in the streets when they arrive? Maybe they did.

“If you’re a conscript in some remote military base and you’re only allowed to know what your officers tell you, you probably are inclined to believe it.


War in Ukraine continues to rage on (Image: Getty)

“One of the worrying and depressing things about it, and something for us all to think about in our own societies and our own lives, is that these freedoms are surprisingly vulnerable, and people like Putin are extremely good at putting them under pressure.” 

Since launching his invasion, Putin has signed a new censorship law that has essentially made it illegal for independent news organisations to report accurate details of Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Journalists are not even allowed to refer to the invasion as a “war”, and face up to 15 years in prison for reporting what the Kremlin considers “fake news”.

Russia has also denied its citizens access to Twitter and Meta social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.

Meanwhile false information about the invasion has been spread by users in Russia as well as official state media accounts.

Russian media has framed itself as a victim and has spread disinformation including that the US was providing Ukraine with biological weapons, a claim denounced by the White House as a “conspiracy theory”.

The Russian state has also alleged that the victims of attacks in Ukrainian hospitals were just paid actors.



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'This is huge' Swedish Air Force jet deployed over Belarus border in threat to Putin




The Scandinavian country is not a member of NATO, but could be ready to trade in its neutral status in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

News of Stockholm’s decision to send a jet was revealed by twitter user Jamming.

They wrote: “Swedish Air Force Korpen active over Poland border area with Belarus.

“Sweden part of surveillance of Belarus and Ukraine!!!

“This is a huge political statement! Update on SwAF Korpen.”


The Gulfstream IV aircraft was tracked taking off from Linking airport and then flying towards the city of Grodno in western Belarus.

It was flying at an altitude of just under 12,000 metres at a speed of 836 kilometres per hour.

Although Sweden is not a NATO member, it is an “enhanced opportunity partner” of the military alliance.

The government also signed a statement in 2018 pledging to strengthen its defence cooperation.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson rejected calls by opposition parties earlier this month for the country to join NATO.

She argued that such a move would further destabilise Europe.

Her statement came in the wake of threats from Moscow that NATO membership would bring “serious military-political consequences” for Sweden.

However, there is growing public support among Swedes for their country to join the transatlantic military alliance.

A poll conducted in late February by broadcaster SVT found that 41 percent of the public supported NATO membership, while thirty-five percent were against.

It was the first time an opinion study in Sweden had found more people in favour of the country joining NATO than were against it.



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Putin humiliated: Russia tries and fails to capture defiant Ukraine village for tenth time




Russia has tried and failed to capture the village of the Chornobaevka ten times, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Aleksey Arestovich. Videos shared by Ukrainian officials online showed the “tenth defeat of the Russian invaders in Chornobaevka”. The continued failures to capture the village comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last night that his country’s forces had “dealt powerful blows” to the Russian military.

Mr Arestovich told a press conference that Russian troops had tried to take Chornobaevka for the tenth time, but the assault again ended in failure.

Following this, the head of the nearby Mykolaiv Regional State Administration Vitaly Kim published a video showing “the defeat” as explosions erupt on the outskirts of the village.

The resolute village has become famous in Ukraine for its defence, as President Zelensky commended Chornobaivka last weekend for fending off six invasions at the time.

He said: “Ukrainian Chornobaivka will go down in war history. This is a place where the Russian military and their commanders have shown themselves for who they truly are – incompetent, capable of simply handing over their people for slaughter.

“Our military has annihilated the invaders near Chornobaivka six times.

“Six times, yet they keep coming back.”

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Online users ridiculed the latest Russian failures and hailed the Ukrainian defiance, with one Reddit user remarking: “At some point, I think every military intelligence outfit looking at this must be wondering how bad the rot is in the Russian military.”

One user visavillem added: “So this is the 10th time. Are Russians trying to bait Ukrainians to waste ammo with some obsolete/broken equipment, or are they really so stupid, that they keep stepping on the same rake again and again?”

Another user on Reddit adfgqert posted: “The Ukrainian people have resolve and determination that is beyond what I think is normal.

“Beyond inspirational and they bring fighting for what they believe in to a new level for me.” 

This comes amid ongoing setbacks for Russian military forces in the south of the country.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Russia had withdrawn most of its helicopters from a strategic airport in Kherson, in southern Ukraine, according to satellite images.

Kherson has also been the site of several local protests against the occupying Russian soldiers.

The official said: “We can’t corroborate exactly who is in control of Kherson but the point is, it doesn’t appear to be as solidly in Russian control as it was before.

“That would make it very, very difficult for them to make any kind of ground movement on Odesa.

“That would be a significant development, no question about that, in terms of the southern part of the war.” 


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