Putin labeled ‘dead-end man’ after struggling to ‘sell war’ to Russians | World | News

Some design age Russians rushed to the border on Thursday to escape the largest conscription since World War II, as explosions shook southeastern Ukraine on the eve of referendums planned there by pro-Moscow separatists. President that of Vladimir Putin new mobilization campaign escalates the seven-month-old war that has killed thousands, displaced millions, pulverized cities, damaged the global economy and revived the Cold War confrontation. While surveys have suggested broad domestic support for Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, mass conscription domestically could be a risky move after the Kremlin promised in the past it wouldn’t happen and a string of battlefield failures in Ukraine.

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Mr Sweeney said: “Putin is in trouble. I think Putin is a dead man walking.

“He has not sold this war to his people. He loses the war on the front line.

“In Kharkiv, the Ukrainians pushed back and got an awful lot of territory, but the other thing is the justification for the war.

“The Ukrainians know what they are fighting for. They are fighting to get their homes back.

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“The Russian says they are fighting to de-nazify Ukraine. It makes no sense.

“The war is not popular in Russia and you see it. Look at those queues, those men don’t want to fight in Vladimir Putin’s stupid war.

“The Chinese say continue or stop, so Putin is in trouble.”

It comes as voting began Friday in a Russian-controlled part of Ukraine in a referendum that Russia is expected to use to justify the annexation of four regions, with a Ukrainian official saying voting was mandatory.

“The vote has begun in the referendum on the fact that the Zaporizhzhya region will become part of Russia as a constituent entity of the Russian Federation! We are coming home! Thank God, friends!” said Vladimir Rogov, an official in that region’s Russian-backed administration.

The referenda have been widely condemned by the West as illegal and a harbinger of illegal annexation.

Serhiy Gaidai, Ukraine’s governor of the Luhansk region, said the head of a company in the Russian-controlled city of Bilovodsk told workers that the referendum was mandatory and that those who refused to vote would be fired and their names on the security service would be provided.

He said that in the city of Starobilsk, Russian authorities banned the population from leaving the city until Tuesday and that armed groups had been sent to search houses and force people to go outside to participate in the referendum.

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Voting will take place from Friday to Tuesday in the four regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya, which represent about 15 percent of Ukraine’s territory.

The votes come after Ukraine recaptured large swathes of territory in a counter-offensive this month, seven months after Russia invaded and launched a war that killed thousands, displaced millions and damaged the global economy.

The referendums had been discussed for months by pro-Moscow authorities, but Ukraine’s recent victories led to a struggle from officials to schedule them.

Russia says it is an opportunity for people in the region to express their views.

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