Putin branded 'dead man walking' after struggling to 'sell war' to Russians

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Some draft-age Russians rushed to the borders on Thursday to escape their country’s biggest conscription drive since World War Two, while explosions shook southeastern Ukraine on the eve of referendums planned there by pro-Moscow separatists. President Vladimir Putin’s new mobilisation campaign escalates the seven-month-old war that has killed thousands, displaced millions, pulverised cities, damaged the global economy and revived Cold War confrontation. Though surveys have suggested widespread domestic backing for Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, mass conscription may be a risky move domestically after past Kremlin promises it would not happen and a string of battlefield failures in Ukraine.

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Mr Sweeney said: “Putin’s in trouble. I think that down the track Putin is a dead man walking.

“He hasn’t sold this war to his people. He’s losing the war on the frontline.

“In Kharkiv, the Ukrainians pushed back and got an awful lot of territory but the other thing is the justification for the war.

“The Ukrainians know what they’re fighting for. They’re fighting to get their homes back.

READ MORE: Russian soldiers ridiculed by Ukraine for mess left behind in Izyum

“The Russian is that they’re fighting to de-Nazify Ukraine. It makes no sense whatsoever.

“The war is not popular in Russia and you can see that. Look at those queues, those men do not want to fight in Vladimir Putin’s stupid war.

“The Chinese are saying get on with it or stop it so, Putin’s in trouble.”

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