Russian Commentators Start Blame Game On State TV After Ukraine's Successful Attacks

"It’s absolutely impossible to defeat Ukraine using those resources and colonial war methods," an ex-politician claimed in a surprising move.
A Russian commentator criticises the war effort for using "colonial methods"
A Russian commentator criticises the war effort for using "colonial methods"
Twitter/Julia Davies

Russian commentators finally appeared to acknowledge that Vladimir Putin’s troops’ attacks are not going to plan while on state TV this weekend.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive has completely taken Russia by surprise, with troops retaking an area twice the size of Greater London in recent days, according to UK officials.

While Putin claimed only last Wednesday that Russia has “lost nothing” over actions in Ukraine, at the end of August US officials said Moscow has lost between 60,000 and 80,000 troops since the war began.

The tension between these claims from the Kremlin and official numbers coming from other governments become very clear during a fiery exchange between current (and former) Russian politicians and pundits while they were all on a panel for Russian state TV.

Speaking on Sunday, the former state Duma deputy, Boris Nadezhdin, said: “People who convinced President Putin that the special operation would be fast and effective, we won’t strike the civilian population [...] these people really set all of us up.”

Asked if these people definitely existed, the commentator replied: “Of course, the president didn’t just sit there and think, ‘Why don’t I start a special military operation?’”

This is the name Putin has insisted on giving to his invasion of Ukraine, despite the international community recognising it as a war. By not officially calling it a war, the President cannot enforce conscription within the civilian population.

Nadezhdin continued: “Someone told him that Ukrainians will surrender, that they’ll flee, that they’ll want to join Russia.

“Someone had to be telling him all this.”

He then seemed to stray from the firm Russian line that victory is possible when he added: “It’s absolutely impossible to defeat Ukraine, using those resources and colonial war methods, with which Russia is trying to wage war using contract soldiers, mercenaries, no mobilisation.”

He also pointed out that Ukraine was supported by wealthy countries in the west while Russia cannot even mobilise its troops.

“I’m suggesting peace talks about stopping the war, and moving on to dealing with political issues.”

Life comes at you fast: pundits on Russian TV realize that their military is failing and their country is in trouble. They are starting to play the blame game. Some of them finally understand that their genocidal denial of the Ukrainian identity isn't working in Russia's favor.

— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 11, 2022

Another person, State Duma deputy Sergey Mironov, replied by saying the so-called Nazi regime in Ukraine – a claim Russia has been championing since the beginning of its invasion, despite no evidence to back it up – must be completely destroyed.

Several of the pundits then started arguing against each other, with one asking if anyone really imagined Russia to be fighting counteroffensives six months later.

Even Mironov went on to concede, “this is a serious army and their weapons are serious,” but he added: “War is war, you can’t predict everything, but we have the will to continue until our victory.”

Another, state Duma member Alexander Kazakov, argued that they had been dealt a “severe psychological blow” with Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

However, he then turned to their “non-comrade” Nadezhdin, and said: “I again urge you to watch your language.

“To talk about ‘colonial wars’ even in passing is unacceptable in this instance.”

To call the invasion a colonial effort would be to acknowledge that Putin was trying to seize Ukrainian land, rather than liberate its people, as he has claimed.

Political commentator Alexei Timofeev also acknowledged that people in Odesa clearly did not welcome the Russians when they invaded, despite people expecting them to do so. He said that such forecasts were “erroneous” but “criminally, catastrophically wrong”.

He also warned that Russia would be stuck with war “for a long time, for a very very long time”.

Policy expert Viktor Olevich even acknowledged that Russia was at fault for not accepting that Ukrainian ethnicity was a separate entity, and claimed that Ukrainian locals need to be on their side for there to be any chance of victory.

Am I completely delusional, or did I just hear the Russian state TV discussing Russia's "colonial war" against Ukraine and Ukrainians not actually waiting to welcome the Russian soldiers as liberators?

— Anastasiia Lapatina (@lapatina_) September 11, 2022

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