Vladimir Putin

Russian state TV pundit says ‘impossible’ to beat Ukraine, calls for peace

A former member of Russian parliament, Boris Nadezhdin, said it was impossible for Russia to defeat Ukraine and called for peace talks in extremely outspoken criticism on state TV of President Vladimir’s strategy Putin in Ukraine.

Nadezhdin’s comments, in a clip viewed more than 3.2 million times, are the latest sign of unease among usually staunchly pro-Kremlin pundits on Russian state TV as a Ukrainian counteroffensive makes gains unexpected.

Nadezhdin’s comments sparked a debate on the show about how Russia should respond, including bolstering its military forces in Ukraine or withdrawing them and ending the war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference with his Belarusian counterpart, following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow February 18, 2022. A Russian state television pundit said Russia should attempt talks to peace with Ukraine as he reflects on Russia’s poor performance in the conflict.
Sergei Guneyev/Getty

“Those who convinced President Putin that the special operation will be quick and effective, we will not hit the civilian population, we will enter, and our national guard, as well as Kadryovites [Chechen fighters]will bring things back to normal, these people have really trapped us all,” Nadezhdin said.

“The president didn’t just sit there and think, why don’t I launch a special operation.

“Someone told him that the Ukrainians will surrender, that they will flee, that they will want to join Russia.

“Someone had to tell him all that. They also said the same thing on TV.

“We are now at the point where we have to understand that it is absolutely impossible to defeat Ukraine using these resources and these methods of colonial warfare with which Russia is trying to wage war, using contract soldiers, mercenaries , without mobilization.

“A strong army opposes the Russian army, fully supported by the most powerful countries, in the economic and technological sense, including European countries.”

The TV host asked if Nadezhdin was suggesting that Russia fully mobilize against Ukraine, to which he insisted he wanted peace talks to begin.

“I suggest peace talks on stopping the war and moving on to political issues.”

Nadezhdin’s outspoken criticism surprised Western commentators, with Guardian journalist Shaun Walker noting that Russian chat shows “always had the NATO ‘guest shill’ who said relatively sensible things and then could be torn down by others. “.

“But Boris Nadezhdin here speaking dangerous truths, you wonder if he might just be arrested soon,” he tweeted.

In recent weeks, as Ukraine launched its counter-offensive against Russian-controlled regions, some Russian television pundits criticized the war, opening cracks in previously strong support and confidence in the strategy of Putin expressed on state television.

TV host Ivan Trushkin said in early September that the aid Ukraine is receiving from the West could prevent Moscow from achieving “total victory”.

Trushkin said Ukraine’s war effort was “either with the approval of the United States or even coordinated by someone there.”

“As long as there are outside powers ready to send people, to arm them, to fill their heads with radical information, it seems to me that unfortunately, we will not be able to achieve a total victory”, a- he added.

Last week, Julia Davis of The Daily Beast posted a video, which has now gone viral with over 1.5 million viewsshowing critical Russian experts on the course of the war in Ukraine.

“Watch this series of clips, featuring panicked Kremlin propagandists on several state TV programs, discussing the impressive gains of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to regain control of Ukrainian territory,” she added in the caption.

Newsweek contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense for comments.

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