Putin insists 99.9% of Russians are willing to ‘sacrifice everything’

Russian president Russian President Vladimir Putin He said that 99.9 percent of Russians would be willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of the country amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Putin spoke on the matter during an interview with journalist Pavel Zarubin during Christmas Day, Radio Russia-1 from Moscow. The Russian leader said he was reassured by the commitment of his people over the past several months and “throughout the entire history of Russia’s existence,” according to a report by the state-run Tass news agency on Sunday.

“For most – 99.9% – of our compatriots, our people who are ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of the Motherland, this does not seem unusual to me,” Putin said. But he assures me once again that Russia is a special country and has special people.

When pressed against those who act contrary to his goals, the Russian president rejected them, saying that they were not “true patriots,” but affirmed their right to “freedom of choice.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin during Christmas mass. The Russian leader said during a Christmas Day interview that 99.9 percent of Russians are willing to sacrifice their lives for the country amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
MICHAEL KLEMENTEV/RIA Novosti/AFP via Getty Images

“There is nothing surprising in the fact that some people did not behave like true patriots,” Putin said. “Because in any society there are always people who think about their own interests, that is, their own plans. And, to be honest, I do not judge them. Everyone has freedom of choice.”

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While the Russian leader did not specify which behaviors he considered contradictory to his plans, Russia was dealing with a notable wave of desertions amid its efforts to mobilize forces for it. its invasion of Ukraine. In late September, facing major military setbacks, Putin announced Russia’s first partial mobilization since World War II in an effort to bolster the ranks of his military.

in response, More than 370,000 Russian men fled their homes By October 4 to neighboring states in order to avoid conscription. Kazakhstan alone claimed at the time to have seen some 200,000 people enter its borders for this reason, while others also headed to Finland, Georgia and Mongolia. Search by Newsweek They also detected an increase in traffic 6 miles away bound for Georgia the day after Putin announced the mobilization.

“What we’re currently seeing are very chaotic and unpopular mobilization efforts that are pretty much guaranteed to fail,” said Joel Heckman, deputy director of the Transatlantic Defense and Security Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). previous statement to Newsweek. “As hundreds of thousands of young, healthy Russians flee across Russia’s borders, there are reports of thousands of elderly men with numerous health problems being transported to the nearest recruitment centres.”

Despite this backtracking, the Kremlin said by the end of October that its efforts to mobilize 300,000 new troops had materialised. However, chaos continued to wreck the effort, with reports emerging of men being sent to the front lines with little or no training or equipment.

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Newsweek Reach out to foreign policy experts for comment.

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