Putin warned Russians are not happy as Russian regime on brink of collapse

Ukraine: Discontent 'is growing' amongst Russians says Ashurkov

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Russians are “growing discontent” with Vladimir Putin’s regime as they fail to understand the purpose of the war amid a collapsing economy, an anti-corruption activist says. Russia’s economy is on track to contract by six percent this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported in a new projection – directly affecting Russians’ standard of living. The Anti-Corruption Foundation executive director and long-time friend of Putin’s number one opponent Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Ashurkov, says rampant inflation and the lack of reason for the Ukraine war are causing discontent among Russians.

When asked if there is any way Putin could be toppled, Mr Ashurkov told Times Radio: “Even though it’s difficult to raise, it’s dangerous for people in Russia to raise their voice against the war.

“People are not happy. The business and political elites have seen their lifestyles turned upside down, their fortunes decimated.

“The average person has seen rampant inflation. They’ve seen the deterioration of standards of living.

“Familiar Western brands McDonald’s, Ikea, Nestlé all leaving the country.”

“And people don’t understand what this war is really for,” Mr Ashurkov said.

“It was really uncalled for, unprovoked.

“So, you don’t see any visible signs but the discontent is growing and I see that this war has made Putin regime more fragile rather than more strong.”

Putin has suffered a series of setbacks, as Russian troops have failed to gain momentum in the last few weeks.

The latest blow to his long-held ambition of conquering Ukraine is the death of his ally’s daughter, Darya Dugina.

The daughter of an ultranationalist Russian ideologue and ally of Vladimir Putin was killed in a car bomb on the outskirts of Moscow on Saturday night.

Russian hawks have blamed Ukraine for the assassination attempt and demanded the Kremlin respond by targeting Ukrainian officials.

Kyiv strongly denied the allegations. “Ukraine has absolutely nothing to do with this, because we are not a criminal state like Russia, or a terrorist one at that,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said.

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In a nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned Ukrainian troops Vladimir Putin could try “something particularly ugly, particularly vicious” on August 24 – coinciding with Ukraine’s Independence Day.

August 24 will mark six months since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and 31 years since Kyiv won its independence from Soviet rule.

“We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel. Such is our enemy,” President Zelensky said.

“But in any other week during these six months, Russia did the same thing all the time – disgusting and cruel.”

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