Seventy reasons why Putin won’t enjoy his 70th birthday

Russian President Vladimir Putin is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Several events are planned for the head of state, including sports competitions and an informal meeting of heads of state of the CIS countries in St. Petersburg.

While the Russian leader is marking a major milestone, the day is unlikely to be full of celebrations. This year, Putin’s birthday falls almost eight months after the war he started against Ukraine, and cracks are beginning to appear in the Kremlin as Russia faces major setbacks in the face of counter-offensives launched by Kyiv.

Under, news week has compiled 70 reasons why Putin won’t enjoy his birthday this year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with separatist leaders during the signing ceremony of the annexation of four Ukrainian regions September 30 at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow. As Putin turns 70, things are not going well for the Russian leader.
Contributor/Getty Images
  1. Putin is nowhere near winning the war in Ukraine.
  2. Ukraine has made huge gains in their current Kherson counteroffensive.
  3. According to Ukraine, Russia has lost more than 60,000 soldiers in the war.
  4. A number of senior military commanders such as General Roman Kutuzov and Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev were also killed.
  5. Alexei Nagin, a senior commander of Russia’s Wagner Group, was killed last month.
  6. Russia lost 2,449 tanks…
  7. and 15 ships…
  8. and 266 aircraft.
  9. Putin was forced to initiate partial mobilization to make up for the troop deficit.
  10. Protests have broken out across the country against the partial mobilization decree.
  11. At least 370,000 people have fled Russia to avoid conscription.
  12. This reportedly includes Mikhail Lazutin, a top pro-Putin propagandist.
  13. NATO gets bigger with the accession of Finland and Sweden.
  14. That means NATO could deploy nuclear weapons within 600 miles of Moscow.
  15. Russia’s economy has been paralyzed by sanctions.
  16. Europe does not seem to be as weakened by Russia’s gas lockdown as initially feared.
  17. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is about to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
  18. Last month, new car sales in Russia fell by 59.6 percent compared to the same period last year before the war.
  19. Almost eight months after the start of the war, cracks begin to appear.
  20. Russian state television now describes Putin’s so-called “special military operation” as a “war.”
  21. His most important allies have also criticized the leadership of his military.
  22. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has publicly criticized Russia’s top generals.
  23. Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin praised Kadyrov for these comments.
  24. Meanwhile, a Kremlin-appointed leader of occupied Kherson indicated that many say Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu could shoot himself.
  25. The official also said “incompetent military leaders” were to blame for the retreating forces in Kherson.
  26. He also said the Russian Defense Ministry is made up of “ministers, mediocre and corrupt generals and looters.”
  27. Videos have surfaced on social media that appear to show power struggles between Russia’s elite.
  28. Journalists have suggested that these videos were staged by Prigozhin.
  29. There are reports that a Wagner militant shot and killed a Russian army officer in the Donbass region.
  30. A Russian official has predicted the end of Putin’s rule.
  31. Russian troops are retreating in Kherson, a region Putin said is now “annexed” following sham referendums.
  32. Russia does not occupy all four regions that Putin formally “annexed”.
  33. Putin is also losing the war in all four regions he “annexed”.
  34. The Kremlin said it didn’t know where Russia’s “new western border” was.
  35. The international community has condemned Putin’s referenda as illegitimate.
  36. Russians outraged by the war continue to throw Molotov cocktails at military posts.
  37. Ukraine has already liberated 400 square kilometers of Cherson’s territory.
  38. Last month, Russia lost Lyman, a key supply hub in the east.
  39. A total of 34 HIMARS have been allocated to Ukraine by the United States
  40. Pro-Russian Telegram military bloggers are increasingly giving gloomy assessments of the war.
  41. Putin had to admit that “mistakes” were made in his partial mobilization.
  42. Several reports have surfaced of ineligible men being called up for military service.
  43. This includes college students, the elderly, and those with illnesses and injuries.
  44. A regional governor said half of those recruited for the army were sent home because of illegal mobilization.
  45. Men begin to evade mobilization.
  46. Some have filed lawsuits to avoid deportation to Ukraine.
  47. Many Russians break their limbs to avoid fighting for Putin.
  48. Still, top defenders say the mobilization won’t help Putin win the war.
  49. Russia is likely to face a “brain drain” and labor shortages amid maximum exodus, a think tank has assessed.
  50. Enthusiasm for the war seems to wane as he buses in “supporters” for a rally.
  51. The US is expected to include four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) in its next security assistance package to Ukraine.
  52. A state-backed pollster said Russians are increasingly concerned about the war.
  53. A key ally said Putin shouldn’t expect good news any time soon.
  54. A guest on Russian state television said it would take two months for the war to turn in Putin’s favor.
  55. More than 1,000 companies worldwide have broken away from Russia to varying degrees.
  56. Following a call from the Ukrainian government, many are taking part in a boycott of Russian goods and exports.
  57. Ukraine received 1,200 military vehicles and weapon units from Russia’s withdrawal.
  58. The national teams of Russia and Belarus are not allowed to participate in the European Women’s Boxing Championship.
  59. There will be protests across the country today. In 2018, protesters wished him “long years in prison” for his birthday.
  60. This year’s international tennis tournament Kremlin Cup 2022 was canceled without explanation.
  61. A Kremlin source told Meduza that Putin’s rule may be coming to an end soon.
  62. Rumors about his health continued as an opposition website reported that he had been visited by a cancer specialist at least 35 times in four years.
  63. US military officials say Putin only has bad strategies for the Ukraine war.
  64. Putin has been publicly humiliated by Central Asian leaders and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  65. A special envoy from Ukraine said Putin’s arrest is possible before a war crimes tribunal.
  66. Putin has resorted to nuclear threats as he faces humiliating backlash.
  67. Newly mobilized recruits complain about a lack of training, equipment, food and poor conditions.
  68. Low morale becomes an even bigger problem in Putin’s army as the war progresses.
  69. Several Russian-deployed officials in Ukraine are attacked and killed.
  70. The Kremlin is now calling on some state media to acknowledge Putin’s wartime failures. Seventy reasons why Putin won’t enjoy his 70th birthday

Rick Schindler

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