The Russian army has withdrawn from Cherson, and Ukraine has recaptured the important provincial capital. This circumstance has led to a radical change in the mood in Russia, as the Russian journalist and author Mikhail Zygar reports in “Spiegel”.
According to this, even pro-war advocates and the bureaucratic elite have recognized that Vladimir Putin, in whose invincibility they believed for so long, “has finally lost.” Nobody believes in the Kremlin boss anymore, writes Zygar. Until recently, high-ranking officials, businessmen or propagandists would only have called him “the boss” or “WW” (Putin’s initials: Vladimir Vladimirovich, ed.). But now he has a new nickname: “Pynja,” which means something like loser or chump “and is now extremely popular.”
A source close to the Russian presidential administration told the author that Putin has even been compared to former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević. In the end he was sent to The Hague. According to Zygar’s source, Putin is unlikely to appear in court – because he will not live to see it: “He was always afraid to show weakness – but now he has shown it and it is obvious to everyone that he will now be turned over. God willing, he has six months left.”
In the army, too, there is “great resentment at the whole administration of the Occupied Territories and the military operation as a whole,” writes Zygar. Of course, no one wants to take any real action against Putin. No one is ready to “take the initiative – but everyone is waiting for something.”