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Kremlin displeasure prompts leaders to demand more brutality in Ukraine, presidential successors already sought, independent body says

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Three months after the start of the war in Ukraine, the mood among the Moscow elites escalated again. This is what happened “jellyfish”, an independent Russian media outlet expelled from the Russian Federation, citing sources familiar with movements within the Kremlin. In early March, these sources reported that Vladimir Putin’s decision to go to war “horrified” most senior Kremlin officials, including ministerial officials, who feared Western sanctions would ruin their careers. However, soon after this, the “wave of patriotic sentiment” overcame. In April, several prominent figures in Russian politics publicly stated that the goal was to fight “to the bitter end.”

However, three months later, pessimism again shook the Kremlin’s foundations. A source close to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s office assures Meduza that “it won’t be possible to live like before” and that “development” has been suspended for the time being, despite the fact that trade with China and India is still ongoing. insured.

Kremlin officials no longer acknowledge that there is a possible scenario in which the Russian president ends a military offensive while maintaining a high approval rating in Russia. Some government officials have even discussed “dignified retreat” strategies since the first weeks of the invasion, but the authorities have not yet come to a conclusion.

Victory Day in Moscow.

Alexander Nemenov

widespread discontent

A source close to the Kremlin described the atmosphere of deep dissatisfaction among Russian elites with Putin’s decisions: “Hardly anyone is happy with Putin. Businessmen and many members of the cabinet are unhappy that the president started this war without thinking about the scale of the sanctions. A normal life with these sanctions becomes impossible.”

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Two other sources familiar with the activities of the Putin government corroborated this analysis, as did two others with ties to the prime minister’s office.

Sources close to the Kremlin said that the opinion of the hawkists (the most popular policy among the Russian elite) is that since Russia was already involved in this war, it is impossible to “soften it now”. On the contrary, it is necessary to “go to the bottom” with “wide mobilization of military reserves and with the mindset to “play for victory”, preferably capturing even the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

However, the Kremlin does not yet want to announce a total mobilization. In early April, sources familiar with Putin’s government domestic politics told Meduza that even Russians who say they support a “special military operation” in Ukraine don’t want to volunteer to fight.

Vladimir Putin displays a portrait of his father during Victory Day in Moscow

Vladimir Putin displays a portrait of his father during Victory Day in Moscow

participant

Entrepreneurs’ concerns

The largest Russian businessmen are also dissatisfied with the actions of the Russian president and criticize him for not taking real steps towards peace. Economic hardships are increasing day by day. “The problems are already known and in the middle of summer they will appear everywhere: in transport, pharmacies and even agriculture. No one thought about the scale [das sanções]a source close to the government told Meduza, adding that no one in the Kremlin had calculated the consequences of a complete boycott of Russian oil and gas by European countries.

However, Vladimir Putin “doesn’t want to think about” the economic hardships that are “obvious to most of the country’s authorities” and remains “particularly reluctant to link these problems to the war in Ukraine,” two Kremlin-connected sources said. “Jellyfish”.

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Putin has already expressed this idea publicly. The Russian leader told the head of the administration of the Kaliningrad region not to blame the war for problems with the supply of the region: “There is no need in this case to connect this with our special operation. They also had a recession in 2020. and 2021, with a marked decline in construction. The military operation in Donbas has absolutely nothing to do with it.”

discuss succession

Kremlin and federal government sources listened to by Meduza say there is increasing talk among the Russian elite about a “post-Putin future.” “It’s not that they want to overthrow Putin now, or they are organizing a conspiracy, but there is an understanding or desire that he will not rule the state, perhaps in the near future,” one of the sources explained. “The president screwed up, but he can still fix it by coming to some kind of agreement [com a Ucrânia e o Ocidente]”, says another source, acknowledging that some Kremlin officials are secretly discussing possible successors to Putin, one of the leaders of the cabinet, Sergei Kiriyenko.

Sergei Kiriyenko had regular talks with Putin about the economy and the Donbass. Despite the fact that the former Russian prime minister is named as one of Putin’s hypothetical successors, sources intercepted by Meduza show that Russian elites admit that only a serious health problem can remove Putin from office. A source connected with the Moscow government illustrates the position of those around the Russian leader more clearly: “People are disgusted, but they still keep their jobs, and they are helping the country to plunge even more into war.”

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Turkey lifts veto on Swedish and Finnish membership in NATO

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Turkey lifted its veto on Finland and Sweden joining NATO on Tuesday.

The leaders of the three countries met on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that Turkey has lifted its veto on Finland and Sweden joining the Atlantic Alliance after signing a memorandum that “answers Ankara’s concerns.”

“We have completed a very constructive meeting with the President [da Turquia, Recep Tayyip] Erdogan or President [da Finlândia, Sauli] Niinistö and the Prime Minister [da Suécia, Magdalena] Andersson, and I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement that paves the way for Sweden and Finland to join NATO,” Stoltenberg said.

The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) spoke at a press conference at the Exhibition Park of Madrid, in the northeast of the Spanish capital, where the summit of the leaders of the North Atlantic Alliance is taking place.

MADRNATO/POOL/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO on May 18 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine ended the historic policy of neutrality.

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G20 summit: Draghi says Putin’s personal involvement ruled out

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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Tuesday that the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the next G20 summit in Bali was ruled out by the Indonesian presidency of the body.

At the summit of the group of seven most industrialized countries of the world (G7), which ended this Tuesday in Germany, they asked about The Kremlin’s announcement that Putin would attend the Bali summit in November, Draghi said that Indonesian President Joko Widodo ruled out the possibility.

Widodo “was categorical: he [Putin] not to come. What could happen – I don’t know what will happen, but what it could happen, maybe it’s remote interference“said Draghi, whose the country will hand over the G20 presidency to Indonesia in Bali.

The information has not been This was stated by the head of the Indonesian state, Joko Widodo. who will meet on Tuesday in Kyiv with his Ukrainian counterpart in an attempt to achieve a ceasefire in the conflict caused by the Russian invasion.

Joko Widodo, who attended Monday’s G7 summit in Germany, is already on his way to Kyiv, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said. accompanies the head of state in a video message.

After a visit to Ukraine and meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, The Indonesian leader is heading to Russia, where he will meet with Putin on Thursday, becoming the first Asian leader to visit the two countries since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Before leaving on Sunday, Widodo said he was going to ask Zelensky and Putin an immediate ceasefire and the search for a peace agreement through dialogue.

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in spite of pressure from countries such as the US, Canada and Australia to keep Putin out of the G20 summit from 11 to 13 November.on the island of Bali, Indonesia still retains its invitation to the Russian leader.

In April, the President of Indonesia, publicly known as Jokowi, sent Zelensky a G20 invitation and said Indonesia was ready to “contribute to the peace effort”.

In the past decade, Russia has been excluded from the group of industrialized countries then known as the G8, renamed the G7 after the 2014 invasion of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula.

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“War will end only when Ukrainians surrender,” Moscow says – Observer

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Russia announced on Tuesday that it would end its offensive in Ukraine, launched more than four months ago, only when the Kyiv authorities and the Ukrainian army surrender and accept “all Russian conditions.”

The Ukrainian side may end [a guerra] during the dayThis was stated by the official representative of the Kremlin (President of Russia) Dmitry Peskov, whose words are quoted by the French news agency AFP.

For this, according to Peskov, it is enough that the Kyiv authorities ordered the “nationalist detachments” and Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms and that “all the conditions set by Russia” be met.

“Then it will all be over in one day,” a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters in Moscow.

Peskov reacted to the appeal of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to the leaders of the G7. do everything to end the war before the end of the yeardue to the harsh winter in Ukraine.

Zelenskiy asks G7 for defense systems and solutions to restore and lockdown wheat

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The leaders of the seven most industrialized countries (Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) and the European Union (EU) conclude their meeting on Tuesday in Elmau in southern Germany ahead of the summit. NATO in Madrid.

No deadline or timetable has been set by the Russian side for ending what Moscow officially calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, Peskov said.

“We are guided by the statements of our president,” he said.

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Peskov again assured thatspecial operation going according to plan“.

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