‘Russia run by traitors’ Putin faces furious nationalist revolt

Putin 'getting pressure from the left and the right' says Mark Watson

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Vladimir Putin is facing a furious nationalist backlash in the wake of Ukraine’s attack on the Kerch bridge in Crimea. The 12-mile bridge was engulfed in flames after a devastating explosion on Saturday. It suffered substantial damage, with a section collapsing into the sea.

The attack is a major humiliation for Putin and his Russian nationalist supporters.

The bridge was opened personally by the Russian President in 2018 and was supposed to set in stone Moscow’s ownership of the Crimea.

However, Saturday’s strike has driven home the message to Russians that Crimea is no longer safe and could be reclaimed by Kyiv.

The incident has provoked a furious attack on Putin and his overall Ukrainian strategy by seething Russian nationalists.

One nationalist, who uses the moniker “Bulba Thrones”, branded the President and his associates as “traitors and degenerates”.

In a stunning criticism of the Russian leader’s overall conduct during the war, he continued: “Rally the county around a figure who can’t answer a single burning question?

“Is he afraid, and most likely unable to justify his policy, his decisions?

“Afraid of society? Silent in difficult moments?

“Travelling to exercises and summits while the army bleeds and the country loses territory?

“Hiding after any failure only to later appear at the next staged meeting or ceremony?

“This degenerate in any Western country would not have even risen to the rank of secretary let alone assistant minister.”

The Russian president has been stoking the flames of nationalism over a long period of time in an attempt to boost support for his regime and policies.

Putin has used nationalism as a way to deflect public attention away from the corruption of his administration and the relative poor performance of the Russian economy.

The fact that nationalists are now prepared to openly criticise him could spell serious trouble for Russia’s would-be tsar.

It comes as Russia stepped up its attacks on Ukrainian cities on Monday.

Putin’s army unleashed a barrage of missile and kamikaze drone attacks that wreaked devastation and destruction.

At least 10 people have been killed and 60 injured in the brutal onslaught, according to latest figures.

Ukraine’s military intelligence claimed the attacks had been planned since the start of October.

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In statement they said Russian commanders had “received instructions from the Kremlin to prepare massive missile strikes on the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine on October 2 and 3”.

They added: “The military units of the strategic and long-range aviation received orders to prepare for the task of massive missile attacks.

“The objects of critical civil infrastructure and the central areas of densely populated Ukrainian cities were identified as targets.”

The attacks have drawn universal condemnation from political leaders around the world and NATO.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary General, described the missile strikes as “horrific and indiscriminate”.

He tweeted: “Spoke with Foreign Minister @DmytroKuleba & condemned #Russia’s horrific & indiscriminate attacks on civilian infrastructure in #Ukraine.

“#NATO will continue supporting the brave Ukrainian people to fight back against the Kremlin’s aggression for as long as it takes.”

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