Russian media has issued content revealing the weakened morale and low success of the Russian military in Ukraine. In a shocking shift of perspective, the usually propaganda-ridden Russian media has declared Putin may only be able to achieve “limited” success in Ukraine as the country’s western allies rush to its defence. BBC’s Russia Editor Steve Rosenburg reported a drastic shift in Russian media publication and broadcast as the failures of the Russian invasion begin to be exposed to the population.
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Rosenburg said: “Last week, one of Russia’s most popular newspapers, a fiercely pro-Kremlin one, suggested that the most likely scenario now in Ukraine was what it described as a limited Russian victory.”
The journalist continued: “By that, it meant Russia taking control of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in their entirety, plus the land corridor to Crimea.
“It also mentioned seizing other Ukrainian cities like Odessa, Dnipro, that is still some way off, I have to say.”
The Russian publication suggested Putin’s forces would not be able to achieve the complete annexation of Ukraine, as authorities had initially declared they would.
Mr Rosenburg added: “For Russia, military progress has been slow and the Russians are beginning to admit this.”
The editor detailed a particular Russian state television broadcast that revealed the low morale of Russian troops, an issue previously strictly concealed from the population.
He said: “A couple of days ago, I was astonished to hear, live on Russia state television, a retired colonel painting a very sombre, very realistic picture of how things are looking for Russia in Ukraine.
“He said the situation for Russia will clearly get worse as more western military assistance arrives in Ukraine.
“He said the morale of Ukrainian troops was high because they were fighting for their motherland.”
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Mr Rosenburg explained the state television broadcast had also highlighted Putin’s severe lack of international allies as, comparatively, Ukraine receives huge support from the western members of NATO.
The reporter continued: “He said Russia is in total geopolitical isolation and the situation is not normal and must be resolved.”
He added: “I wonder whether that is a sign that the authorities here are preparing viewers for bad news about how things have gone, or at least giving themselves the option of saying that at some point in the future.”
The journalist claimed that Russian state media was beginning to suggest the possible failure of the Russian invasion which demonstrates a clear shift from the strictly pro-war propaganda that was previously broadcast to the Russian population.
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Russia had attempted to take Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, in earlier weeks of the invasion but has since been forced to largely abandon the attempt due to the strength of Ukrainian defence in the area.
Putin’s forces have instead focused on capturing the east and some southern regions of Ukraine, particularly around the Donbas region.
Russian authorities recently declared success in their mission to capture the city of Mariupol after a relentless siege lasting more than two months.
Despite this limited victory, Russian forces remain under strain as the British defence ministry reported Russia has likely lost one-third of its ground combat forces since the invasion began in February.