Russian retreat in Ukraine leaves Putin under pressure at home

Russian President Vladimir Putin has a new problem in Ukraine: Many of the war's supporters.

LONDON — Russian President Vladimir Putin has a problem.

For more than two decades now, Putin’s expanding grip on power has been predicated on his portrayed strength and justified as essential to Russia’s existence. Over time, as the political opposition and the independent media were gradually whittled away, Kremlin propagandists fostered a sense of inevitability underpinning his continued stewardship.

“Russian society, just as the Russian army, is decaying and falling apart because of corruption.”


From the start, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been presented to the Russian public — and the country’s political elite — in very similar terms: This war was necessary to secure Russia’s future existence, it was well-planned and executed, and it will be won. And with near-total control over the information space at home, there has been very little chance for these narratives to be challenged.

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Updated: 4 days ago
Moscow, Moskva

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