Russian journalist explains what Russians are thinking about Putin's war (2023)


Journalist Ekaterina Kotrikadze, who works for a Russian news outlet that was shut down by the Russian government, discusses threats of nuclear war that have been broadcast on Russian state TV during the war in Ukraine. #CNN #News


Half a million more Russian fighters.


What Ukraine is bracing for tonight.

500,000 more Russians.

And a major onslaught.

Here's Ukraine's defense minister with the chilling warning.

If you'd seen those.


They announced 300,000.

I know since I saw me.


When we see the troops at the borders.

The two are so massive.

According to our estimates.

It is much more declared war.

So minimal, we think that they have already mobilized, 500,000 500,000., It sounds huge., An, absolute basis., And.

If it pans out, it is huge.

Just to give you the context.

500,000 is nearly two and a half times more than the number of Russian fighters used to invade Ukraine.

Nearly one year, ago.

And, the predicted new offensive could be just weeks.


In, the past, we think that given that they love symbolism.

They will try something around February 24th.

February 24th, of course, marks one year since the beginning of Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

And as Ukraine braces for what could be this.

Massive onslaught, the nuclear drumbeat again, growing louder, in Russia., Just, listen to what's being said, tonight on Russian, TV.

If, the media this ends with our victory or the sense in a nuclear world war, three.

The defense minister of Ukraine is saying that Russia's already mobilized, 500,000 soldiers, that they're seeing them amass on these borders, again.


You think that we're about to see a big change in this war? Well, I, really don't.

I think we may see a big change in this war in a couple of months.

But as the soldiers said.

This is very much like World, War, Two., No., In fact.

This is like World, War One.

The trench warfare in France That went on for years and years.

Unfortunately, I think in the near term, we're going to see much the same for the next couple of months until one side of the other prepares for a counteroffensive.


Why we got the tanks.

That's? Why we're bringing in the tanks.

So, the Ukrainians have a chance.


The Russians may have plans on the road, but I certainly hope we're interdicting their lines to make sure the majority troops never show up.


You pointed out to us that sound bite.

We played of sort of the the most prominent Russian state, media, television, anchor., Right.

Threatening that if the Russians don't win, it's, nuclear World, War, three., And you're, pointing out that a lot of the Putin TV commentators on state media are backing.

More action., They really are upping.

The rhetoric right, now.

Let me play how another prominent TV host put it.

Not enough.

Talk about this without a third.

Why would our state build up a stockpile of strategic and tactical nuclear missiles? You hear why some just to be afraid of using them Kerry.

What, do you read into that? And? What does the Russian public really think at this point? This was Vladimir Solovyov.

One of the biggest stars of Russian, propaganda., Aaron, actually, the situation right now is dangerous for Vladimir Putin.


We can see.

They don't have any other any other tools to use for the Russian public and for the Western world, except for the threats.

They are threatening the world with this World War three, with the nuclear weapon, because this is the last hope that they can catch right now.

And over the world.

The attitude of people in Russia is is fear.

Actually that society is terribly depressed.

People understand that.

This is the war, actually, that this is not a special military operation, how they called it before.

Vladimir Putin is already calling this a war and Sergei Lavrov, the minister for foreign affairs and others.

They are not hiding anymore that this is a very serious situation.

And people are understanding it right.



This is the new stage for Russian society.

And they can hear this words about the nuclear weapon.

I know that people are scared to death.

They don't want this nuclear war, of course, because they don't want to die.

They want to.

You know, raise their children and so on.


So forth.

So, they are looking for some kind of.

You know, maybe a kind and soft moment.

There are looking forward to maybe freezing this.

This war, because this is the only way to survive for Russian citizens.

They, don't know how to see the future with outside of Putin, because he has built a terrible, repressive state where no one has the right to think freely or to talk freely, as you know.

So, General, Kimmitt.

You know, a well-known and highly respected, Russian analyst, said, this about the current state of the Russian military in the context of what Ekaterina just said.


It is.

Yes., And, I believe that by the start of the mobilization, our airborne forces lost 40 to 50% of the staff.

Look, it's, an incredible admission, right, happening on one of those very same programs.


So I do want to emphasize that.

But to say, something like that, that nearly half of Russia's.

Airborne forces are gone, I, mean, it's stunning.

But then I think about what the Ukrainian defense minister said, today, that Russia has 500,000 more soldiers.



What is the real picture? Here?? Well, I think the real picture is quantity has a quality all its own.


They are going to be pouring, 500,000 troops and that's going to make a significant difference.

No matter how many tanks we give, no matter how much artillery they have.

But, I wouldn't, put too much stock in what the defense minister said.

There's, an old saying, military that first report is usually wrong.


That seems like an awfully large number to anybody that's been following this for some time.

It, certainly does., I mean.

You heard it today and said, wait a minute.

It wasn't the math that we'd heard of the mobilization or anything.


But it is a stunning number.


You have extensively covered Putin., Opposition, Leader, Alexei.


He is in the news today.

His lawyer, saying that he is being transferred to even harsher solitary.


He, of course, is the opposition leader in Russia.

And was poisoned by Putin's men.

And then put into a penal colony.

Sometimes, he's able to pass messages to his team.

And then they post them on Twitter.


That happened.

And this was posted quote, When.

Something like this happens to you.

You realize how important it is to fight this unscrupulous regime, how important it is to do just about anything in order to throw the yoke of these scoundrels off Russia and dispel, the illusion that they have planted in the heads of millions.

Let us, try to remain strong and do all we can every day.

And yet.

He physically seems weaker every time we get an image of him.

Ekaterina and I said, today, going to even harsher solitary confinement.

What happens.

If he doesn't survive? It's going to be a huge problem for him, because he has already tried to kill him, and we know that.


It was a different time right now when the level of fear and depression in Russian society is so high, when everyone is at the edge, when mobilization is something that people are scared very much.

And you know, we know that because we can see how much how many people watch us.


Millions of Russians are asking questions about mobilization in particular., So, Navalny, knee, his death.

If it happens, I, mean, it's terrible.

But if it happens, can be a huge trigger for Russian people to go out on the streets and to protest and to change something., I, don't want this to happen, of course.

And no one wants this to happen and Putin doesn't want it to happen.

So that's.

Why they're not killing him in jail.

This is the only good news for Alexei Navalny.

And for the for the civil society of Russian Federation, which survives out of Russia.

Unfortunately, right, now., So, yes, he's in a terrible circumstances.

They're, trying to break his personality, his stamina, but he's proving every single day.


If you look at him, and if you look what he says, what he writes, what he tweets with the help of his lawyers, you can see how strong this person is., And, I'm sure that he survives, actually.


Thank you very much.

General, Kimmitt.

Thanks to you..


How do Russians feel about the war? ›

At the national level, public polling of Russian attitudes toward the war have shown support remaining relatively stable since the Feb. 24, 2022, invasion: On average, Russians still seem to support the war, even if not with the overwhelming positivity that the Kremlin might suggest.

What is the misunderstanding between Russia and Ukraine? ›

Relations between the two countries became hostile after the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, which was followed by Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, and the war in Donbas, in which Russia backed the separatist fighters of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic.

Why is Ukraine so important to Russia? ›

What are Russia's broad interests in Ukraine? Russia has deep cultural, economic, and political bonds with Ukraine, and in many ways Ukraine is central to Russia's identity and vision for itself in the world. Family ties. Russia and Ukraine have strong familial bonds that go back centuries.

What percentage of Russians support the war? ›

Support, according to the Chronicle, then returned to 59 percent by February 2023. The Russian Field, also a relative newcomer, saw a support level of about 60 percent in the beginning that later stabilized in the range of 66–68 percent. The difference can most likely be attributed to survey design.

Does China support Russia? ›

China has become an increasingly important trading partner for Russia as it seeks to soften the impact of economic sanctions imposed by some countries in response to its invasion.

Why does Russia not want Ukraine to join NATO? ›

Currently, the organization has a total of 30 countries. In this way, Russia feels a threat from NATO's expansion to the east and, above all, fears that Ukraine, a country in which it can exert influence, will end up joining NATO, something that has not yet happened.

Why is Ukraine important to the United States? ›

The U.S.-Ukraine relationship serves as a cornerstone for security, democracy, and human rights in Ukraine and the broader region. We will continue to support Ukraine in its efforts to advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations and to restore and secure Ukraine's internationally recognized borders.

What does Putin want? ›

First, he wants to subjugate Ukraine, tearing down its statehood. Secondly, he hopes, by strangling Ukraine, to force the West to accept his ultimatum — rebuilding in Europe a Yalta-esque order with spheres of influence and securing a Western pledge to not interfere in Russia's geopolitical backyard.

Does Putin want to restore the Soviet Union? ›

Russian authorities struggled to find a uniting factor for its population of different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds, as the disintegration of the Soviet Union meant that they could no longer identify with each other. Vladimir Putin aimed to reform Russia into a strong, sovereign nation.

How much land has Russia taken from Ukraine? ›

Before 2022, Russia occupied 42,000 km2 (16,000 sq mi) of Ukrainian territory (Crimea, and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk), and occupied an additional 119,000 km2 (46,000 sq mi) after its full-scale invasion by March 2022, a total of 161,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi) or almost 27% of Ukraine's territory.

Why does Russia want Crimea and Ukraine? ›

Vladimir Putin said that Russian troops in the Crimean peninsula were aimed "to ensure proper conditions for the people of Crimea to be able to freely express their will," whilst Ukraine and other nations argue that such intervention is a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.

Which 5 countries support Russia? ›

Countries supporting Russia in the war with Ukraine

Belarus is the biggest supporter of Russia and has allowed Russian Troops to enter Ukraine from its territory. Other Russian Supporting Countries in the war with Ukraine are Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Kyrgyzstan.

How many soldiers does Russia actually have? ›

In terms of active-duty personnel, they are the world's fifth-largest military force, with 1.15 million and at least two million reserve personnel. Russia plans to expand its active personnel force to 1.5 million by 2026, which will make it the third largest in the world, after China and India.

Is Russian support for Putin's war falling fast? ›

A poll Chronicles carried out in November found that Russian support was falling and had reached "a historic minimum" of just over a half, or 51 percent, compared with 55 percent in July and a high of 66 percent in April.

Does North Korea support Russia? ›

However, like South Korea in its military relationship with the United States, North Korea cannot ignore Russia, one of its main backers. Moscow continues to serve as an alternative option for North Korea to limit Chinese leverage over the country's political and economic isolation.

How is the Russian economy doing today? ›

The Russian economy is shrinking

According to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2022 was a bad year for the Russian economy. It is estimated that in 2022, Russia's gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 2.1%.

Can the US take on Russia and China at the same time? ›

Fighting a war with Russia and China simultaneously would be very difficult, he added. A high state of readiness and modernization will deter aggression, and the fiscal year 2024 budget request of $842 billion will ensure that the joint force remains the most lethal and capable military in the world, he said.

Was Russia ever invited to join NATO? ›

The Eastern Bloc responded by forming its own alliance, the Warsaw Pact, a similar mutual defense treaty between eight newly formed communist countries. But before that treaty was signed, the Soviet Union did something that seems bizarre by today's standards: It requested to join NATO.

When did Russia leave NATO? ›

Subsequently, Russia suspended in 2007 its participation in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.

Did Putin want to join NATO? ›

George Robertson, a former Labour defence secretary who led Nato between 1999 and 2003, said Putin made it clear at their first meeting that he wanted Russia to be part of western Europe. “They wanted to be part of that secure, stable prosperous west that Russia was out of at the time,” he said.

What does the US rely on from Ukraine? ›

In 2018, of the $1.4 billion in U.S. imports from Ukraine, the top commodity sectors were Base Metals (68.4%), Agriculture (9.3%), and Machinery and Mechanical Appliances (5.7%).

What does the US gain from helping Ukraine? ›

The United States' support for Ukraine could restore its reputation as a real protector of freedom and human rights across the globe because Ukraine represents these values in this region.

Why is Ukraine so strategically important? ›

Finally, Ukraine is rich in resources, including agricultural produce, critical raw materials, energy sources, and human capital. Some of the aforementioned resources are indispensable to the rest of the world and all of which would become more accessible again with a Ukrainian victory.

Does Putin want to stop the war? ›

"Our goal is not to spin the flywheel of military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war," Putin said. "We will strive for an end to this, and the sooner the better, of course."

Does Russia want to make peace with Ukraine? ›

Peace talks and the stability of international borders were further discussed in the Ukrainian parliament during the week of 9 May. Following the 2022 Ukrainian eastern counteroffensive, Russia renewed calls for peace talks.

Does Ukraine have nuclear weapons? ›

Ukraine does not have nuclear weapons in its arsenal. In 1991, Ukraine gained independence and inherited the nuclear weapons from the USSR that were located and produced on Ukrainian territory. At that time, Ukraine had the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world.

Why I am not going back to the Soviet Union? ›

Why I am not going back to the Soviet Union (Ukrainian: Чому я не хочу вертатись до СРСР?) is an anti-establishment pamphlet authored by Ivan Bahrianyi. It outlines Bahrianyi's own (political) declaration of national dignity, as well as his views on the importance of human rights.

Could Russians leave the Soviet Union? ›

Emigration from the USSR had not been permitted, except for a tiny handful, since the early 1920s, although in the aftermath of World War II several hundred thousand Soviet citizens managed to remain in the West.

How did Putin save the Russian economy? ›

During Putin's first two terms as president, he signed into law a series of liberal economic reforms, such as the flat income tax of 13 percent, reduced profits-tax and new land and civil codes. Within this period, poverty in Russia reduced by more than half and real GDP has grown rapidly.

What language is spoken in Ukraine? ›

According to the 2001 census, 67% of the population speak Ukrainian and 30% speak Russian as their first language. Ukrainian, the official language, belongs with Russian and Belarusian to the East Slavic branch of the Slavic language family.

How much land has Ukraine taken back? ›

Ukraine has reclaimed more than half the territory Russia has taken this year. Ukraine has reclaimed 54 percent of the land Russia has captured since the beginning of the war, according to a New York Times analysis of data provided by the Institute for the Study of War.

What territories are under Russian control? ›

Russian-occupied territories are lands under Russian military occupation. The term is applied to territories in Georgia (Abkhazia and South Ossetia), Moldova (Transnistria), and parts of Ukraine.

What do Crimeans think of Russia? ›

Crimea's residents viewed Russian citizenship as inaccessible, undesirable, illegitimate, and illegal.

Why did Russia give up Crimea? ›

On 19 February 1954, the oblast was transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR jurisdiction, on the basis of "the integral character of the economy, the territorial proximity and the close economic and cultural ties between the Crimea Province and the Ukrainian SSR" and to commemorate the 300th anniversary ...

Why did Russia invade Georgia in 2008? ›

After Georgia deported four suspected Russian spies in 2006, Russia began a full-scale diplomatic and economic war against Georgia, followed by the persecution of ethnic Georgians living in Russia. By 2008, most residents of South Ossetia had obtained Russian passports.

How does Russia view us? ›

Rather, the Russian view is multidimensional: the Russians see America as weak economically, diplomatically, and militarily—or at least weaker than it superficially appears—a country locked in a process of decline and disintegration.

What situation did Russia face during World War? ›

Armies moved a lot in the east and fought a lot of battles, which resulted in a lot of losses. Losses were humiliating and demoralizing. Defeats were humiliating and demoralizing. Between 1914 and 1916, Russia's armies suffered heavy losses in Germany and Austria.

What did Russia do during the war? ›

The bulk of Soviet fighting took place on the Eastern Front—including the Continuation War with Finland—but it also invaded Iran in August 1941 with the British, and the Soviets later entered the war against Japan in August 1945, which began with an invasion of Manchuria.

Does Russia have a good relationship with the United States? ›

Russia and the United States maintain one of the most important, critical and strategic foreign relations in the world. Both nations have shared interests in nuclear safety and security, nonproliferation, counterterrorism, and space exploration.

How many Russian citizens live in the United States? ›

Russian American population is estimated at approximately 2.9 million people. Second largest ethnic market representing 10.3% (2.9 Million people) of the total foreign-born population of 28.4 million. The leading ethnic group is Mexicans that represent 28% or 7.8 million of all US foreign-born population.

Have US and Russian troops ever fought? ›

Washington and Moscow have been hot-war allies and Cold War adversaries. The only time U.S. and Russian troops battled each other came a century ago, with the heaviest fighting in the Archangel campaign that so aggrieved Pvt. Henkelman.

Who is Russia's best friend? ›

Similarly, a 2017 opinion poll by the Moscow-based non-governmental think tank Levada-Center states that Russians identified India as one of their top five "friends", with the others being Belarus, China, Kazakhstan and Syria.

Who is Russia's closest ally? ›

Belarus: Russia's Closest Ally

A neighbor of both Russia and Ukraine, Belarus's Russia-dependent strongman Alexander Lukashenko has given Russia unrestricted access to its air space and land to attack Ukraine. Belarus has also provided logistical and medical support to Russian forces.

What countries have condemned the Russian invasion? ›

Reactions among governments have generally been negative, particularly in Europe, the Americas, and Southeast Asia, with criticism and condemnation made by many leading nations such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain.

Why did Russia drop out of World War I before the rest of its allies? ›

Lenin believed that Russia must end its participation in the war so that the nation could focus on building a communist state based on the ideas of Karl Marx, a German philosopher who lived in the mid-1800s.

How many Russian soldiers died on the Eastern Front? ›

The Axis forces suffered 850,000 casualties and the Soviets 750,000. Stalin considered his losses necessary. The surrender of the city would have been an irreversible victory for the Nazis. Millions of victims of the German invasion were noncombatants.

How many Russians died in the Russian Revolution? ›

The exact number of people that were killed in the Russian Revolution is disputed amongst historians. The number ranges anywhere from 7 million to 12 million people killed between 1917 and 1923, most of them being civilians.

How many German soldiers froze to death in Russia? ›

In the winter of 1942/43, Hitler sacrificed twenty-two divisions through his command to hold out at Stalingrad. More than 100,000 German soldiers fell, froze, or starved to death even before the surrender of the Sixth Army. Over 90,000 men ended up in Soviet prisoner-of-war camps—only around 6,000 of them survived.

What did the US give Russia in WW2? ›

Equipping the Red Army

In the final tally, America sent its Russian ally the following military equipment: 400,000 jeeps and trucks. 14,000 airplanes. 8,000 tractors.

Did the US help Russia in WW2? ›

By the end of October, the first Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union was on its way. The United States entered the war as a belligerent in late 1941 and thus began coordinating directly with the Soviets, and the British, as allies.

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