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Foreign policy analyst Maxim Yusin put TV panellists on the spot on Russian state TV, confronting them on the advance of forces in the annexed regions. He called out military analysts making predictions about the successful operations of Russian troops as “dreamers” in the face of the Ukrainian counter-attack in eastern Ukraine. Russian troops were forced to withdraw from the strategic city of Lyman after Ukrainian forces encircled them.
In front of bemused pundits, Mr Yusin admitted on Russian TV channel HTB: “You know, it’s very difficult to argue with dreamers who live in their own world.
“I see the dynamics of the military actions on the front.
“We aren’t talking about what’s happening near Lyman.”
TV host Andrey Norkin jumped in, asking: “Who forbade you to talk about it?”
The pundit continued: “It’s a bit wild to pontificate about how we will liberate Zaporizhzhia with 710,000 residents.
“Ask anyone here, when they’re in the make-up room. I think anyone will honestly admit that they don’t know whether the mobilisation will help us or not to change the course of military actions.
“I don’t remember the precedent in world history when territories we don’t even control were absorbed into the country.
“So far, things aren’t going so well. It’s easy to say: ‘after the liberation of Zaporizhzhia’. Yeah, try liberating it, the way everything is going.”
Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesperson for Ukraine’s eastern forces, previously said: “Lyman is important because it is the next step towards the liberation of the Ukrainian Donbas. It is an opportunity to go further to Kreminna and Sievierodonetsk, and it is psychologically very important.”
Since the counter attack started in August, Ukrainian troops have retaken the totality of the northeastern Kharkiv region and have continued their push into Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia.
Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, suggested Moscow should consider deploying a low-yield nuclear bomb Ukraine to avoid further military defeats.
In his annexation speech, Putin said he would be prepared to use “all means” at Russia’s disposal to defend Russian land, including the recently-annexed Ukrainian provinces.
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