Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Since that time, their army has been taking massive losses. Russian leader Vladimir Putin is now approaching nearly 30,000 military members killed in action, according to official sources.
However, the true number is likely quite a bit higher, considering he forced ethnic Russian, Ukrainian citizens into the army in Donbas and eastern Ukraine, many of whom have been killed.
Since they are legally Ukrainian, these conscripts are not counted as Russian military deaths, allowing Putin to lie about how many soldiers he is losing.
Though, despite some strong support for Putin inside his own country, a growing number of Russians are turning against him and his “special operation” in Ukraine.
The latest example comes from a mass uprising in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.
What Happened in St. Petersburg?
During a recent concert in St. Petersburg, something unexpected happened.
The crowd started shouting “f**k the war!” repeatedly as loud as they could. This is in the heart of one of Russia’s main cities, a place where Putin needs people to be on his side.
Thousands of people were aggressively yelling about their opposition to his war in Ukraine.
This is big news. It’s giving the Kremlin a real headache to know a sizable piece of the Russian population isn’t on board with their actions in Ukraine and won’t be joining up if there’s a wide military draft.
Russia’s war has been going terribly. They failed to take over Kiev and are bogged down in the east of the country in an awful, dirty war.
Thousands of Ukrainian civilians have also been killed; war crimes trials are already going on against Russian soldiers in Kiev.
Meanwhile, Russia lost an alarmingly high amount of high-ranking officers, including a number of generals.
Concert-goers in St. Petersburg, Russia, chant “Fuck the war!” Not many in Russia have courage to protest individually, as it’s a fascist police state, but in situations like this they feel they can express their opinion freely.
It’s not just Putin, but it’s not all Russians. https://t.co/EEcxTXNNdy
— Euan MacDonald (@Euan_MacDonald) May 22, 2022
Can Russia Turn the Tide?
The Russian media has done its part to try to exaggerate Russia’s victories. However, a significant amount of people are getting tired of the war and not buying the propaganda.
In addition, Putin making it illegal to speak out against the war has only increased dissension below the surface.
At this point, the rumors that Putin is also seriously ill also added to the pressure against Russia, as gossip swirls.
What exactly is going on with this invasion and what is Putin’s plan? His recent threats to invade Finland if it joined NATO turned out to be untrue. He immediately backed down when Finland did join.
Are the rest of his threats against Europe and America also bluffs, or is he for real?
"We are fighting against evil. Change is on the horizon…Russia will be free."
Four women from St. Petersburg are being criminally prosecuted for small acts of protest against the war. @severrealii takes a look at each woman's case: https://t.co/j4kprDavoY
— RFE/RL Pressroom (@RFERLPress) May 18, 2022
The Bottom Line
This war has gone on far too long. It’s time for Russia to withdraw and for Ukraine to begin the difficult task of rebuilding.