Ukraine: Vladimir Putin exposes own weakness with mistakes
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Mr Sweeney argued that by keeping the leader of the opposition Alexei Navalny alive and not introducing universal conscription, Vladimir Putin has demonstrated to be afraid of his own people. He stressed Putin is “a fragile monster” as he outlined why the Russian leader’s strategy for the war in Ukraine is failing.
Mr Sweeney told CNN: “The point is Navalny is still alive.
“If Putin was all-powerful, he could have him, he’s his greatest adversary, and he’s still alive?
“That for me suggests weakness, not strength.
“He is the effective leader of the opposition, he’s locked up and he’s a great critic of Putin and the war, and yet he’s still alive.
“Vladimir Putin could have him killed very easily, but why not? I think because Putin is afraid of having him killed in prison.
“He fears that people in Moscow and Saint Peterborough will rise up and say ‘what are you doing?”
He added: “Secondly, [Putin] hasn’t called for universal conscription.
“Again, the reason for that is he is afraid that people in Moscow and Saint Peterborough will say ‘why on earth are you sending my 18-year-old son for your stupid war?’
“I’ve seen this in the outskirts of Bucha in early April, the Russian soldiers we saw were not ethic Russians but they were from ethnic minorities such as Russian mongols.
“He’s not using, so why is that?
“The reason again I think is because he’s afraid that if he calls for universal conscription, mums and dads in Moscow and Saint Peterborough will protest against because ‘we don’t want our sons to go to war.”
Mr Sweeney concluded: “I think Vladimir Putin is a fragile monster, and I don’t think that his strategy is working.
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“I think this war is a catastrophic mistake for humanity, for Ukraine but also for Vladimir Putin’s grip on power”.
The comments came a day after nine Russian warplanes got destroyed in a blast at Saki air base, in Russian-controlled Crimea – resulting in Russia’s biggest loss of military aircraft in a single day since WW2.
The air base is located in the Crimea peninsula, a Ukrainian territory annexed to Russia in 2014 through a referendum regarded as illegal by the international community.
According to satellite images that recorded the blast, the destroyed warplanes appear to be Su-24 bombers and Su-30 multirole fighter jets.
Russia insisted that the explosions recorded air base were caused by the detonation of stored ammunitions and stressed that the blast was not the result of any Ukrainian attack.
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