On Saturday, one day after the Russian leader asserted that the area had been annexed, prominent supporters of Vladimir Putin denounced the military’s withdrawal from a city in Ukraine.
Putin announced on Friday that he had signed decrees declaring four regions of Ukraine to be a part of Russia, a move that was roundly condemned as unlawful and void by the West. On the other hand, a day later, Ukrainian forces invaded Lyman, forcing Russian forces to withdraw from a region Putin had just annexed. The area of Lyman that Putin allegedly annexed is the Donetsk region.
The Chechnya leader and Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on Telegram that the Russian military had ‘covered for’ a ‘incompetent’ general who should be ‘brought to the front to wash his disgrace off with blood,’ according to The New York Times translation.
In a statement, oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, another well-known supporter and close friend of Putin, repeated those ideas. He said, ‘Send all these pieces of rubbish with machine guns right to the front,’ in reference to the generals of the Russian military, The Times reported.
Sergei K. Shoigu, the Russian minister of defence, has recently come under fire and been accused of military missteps, particularly in the wake of the effective counteroffensives launched by Ukraine in September. Putin stepped up the conflict in response to Ukraine’s advances by assembling soldiers, which also raised concerns and even riots within Russia.
Putin also seems to be in a precarious position with respect to important international allies like China and India. Both nations chose not to participate in a Friday Security Council resolution to denounce Putin’s ‘illegal’ takeover of Ukraine. Only Russia exercised its veto.