Russian nationalists call for Putin to step up war efforts after stunning Ukraine advances

11 September 2022, 18:47 | Updated: 11 September 2022, 20:11

Russian tank/Putin/Zelensky
Russian tank/Putin/Zelensky. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Russian nationalists are raging and calling for President Vladimir Putin to step up their country's war efforts after a series of rapid victories by Ukraine.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Ukraine took large swathes of eastern part of the country in recent days in a string of stunning gains.

The region has been occupied by Russia and its proxy states since the invasion, but the Ukrainian army has launched a fightback in the north-east this week, forcing the Russian army to pull back.

The Ukrainian advances around the vital supply link of Izyum signify the most significant progress since Russia withdrew from areas around Kyiv in April.

Read more: Russian troops retreat as Ukraine takes back key towns in Kharkiv offensive

Ukraine said the victories were a turning point in the war, which began in February this year after Russia invaded.

Anti-Putin protest seen in London after Russia invades Ukraine

Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen Republic in southern Russia and a hardcore Putin supporter, sought to downplay the Russian losses.

But Kadyrov, whose troops are heavily involved in the invasion, added: "If today or tomorrow changes are not made in the conduct of the special military operation, I will be forced to go to the country's leadership to explain to them the situation on the ground."

Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Kadyrov. Picture: Alamy

Meanwhile residents of the Russian capital celebrated Moscow Day on Saturday, with concerts, street parties and other festivities.

But some pro-war figures called for the celebrations to be cut short, according to Reuters.

Sergei Mironov, a Putin-loyalist, said on Twitter that the celebrations should be cancelled because of Russian troops still fighting at the front.

Read more: Ukraine pushes major counter-offensive as war marks 200 days

Meanwhile war correspondent Semyon Pegov called the festivities blasphemous" and demanded that the Russian government bolster its invasion efforts.

He added in a message on Telegram: "Either Russia will become itself through the birth of a new political elite ... or it will cease to exist."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Kyiv
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Kyiv. Picture: Getty

Putin himself and the Kremlin have been quiet on the setbacks for the Russian invaders.

The Russian leader spent Saturday opening a new Ferris wheel in Moscow.

He said: "We take pride in Moscow, and love this city with its majestic antiquity and its modern and dynamic pace of life, the charm of its cosy parks, lanes and streets and abundance of business and cultural events."

Russian President Putin Attends A Sambo Match At The New Stadium
Russian President Putin Attends A Sambo Match At The New Stadium. Picture: Getty

Russian defence spokesman Igor Konashenkov said this weekend that the troops would be regrouped from the Balakliya and Izyum areas to the Donetsk region.

Izyum was a major base for Russian forces in the Kharkiv region.

Mr Konashenkov said the move is being made "in order to achieve the stated goals of the special military operation to liberate Donbas," one of the eastern Ukraine regions that Russia has declared sovereign.

The claim of a pullback to concentrate on Donetsk is similar to the justification Russia gave for pulling back its forces from the Kyiv region earlier this year.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, shake hands after signing a security agreement on the sidelines of the G7 in Savelletri, Italy

US President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky sign security deal

G7 leaders at the summit in southern Italy

G7 summit opens with deal to use frozen Russian assets for Ukraine

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in Washington

Donald Trump returns to Capitol Hill and whips up Republican legislators

US President Joe Biden participates in a working session with world leaders during a G7 summit at Borgo Egnazia, Italy

Biden says no Gaza ceasefire deal soon, as mediators work to bridge gaps

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich waves and smiles as he stands in a glass cage in a courtroom at the First Appeals Court of General Jurisdiction in Moscow, Russia, on April 23 2024

US reporter Evan Gershkovich, held in Russia on espionage charges, to face trial

This image provided by Tamatha Bibbo, principal of the Pollard Middle School in Needham, Massachusetts, shows 23 sets of twins who graduated from Pollard Middle School

Double take: 23 sets of twins graduate from single Massachusetts middle school

Elephant Bubi kicks the ball towards the goal in Starkenberg, Germany

Bubi the elephant predicts Germany to win Euro 2024 opener against Scotland

Russia’s Kazan nuclear-powered submarine arrives at the port of Havana, Cuba, on Wednesday

US submarine pulls into Guantanamo Bay day after Russian warships arrive in Cuba

The 'Happy Days' actor shared a grinning selfie with Dublin Fire Brigade

Happy Days for The Fonz: Henry Winkler thanks firefighters after blaze at Dublin hotel

Rishi Sunak with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni

Rishi Sunak receives warm welcome at G7 summit as he reunites with Italian PM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky walks past various international flags on arrival at the G7 in Borgo Egnazia, Italy

How will move to lend Ukraine billions backed by Russia’s frozen assets work?

A tourist fans a companion in front of the the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens

Heatwave forces Greek authorities to shut Acropolis in afternoon for second day

Bulgarian former prime minister Boyko Borissov, leader of the centre-right GERB party

Bulgarian ex-premier Borissov offers coalition but does not want job again

A Polish soldier patrols the border with Belarus

Poland reintroduces restrictions along Belarus border due to migration pressures

Eric Calibet smiling in a black t-shirt with his arms spread out.

Retired US cop missing on Greek island days after Michael Mosley's body found - as temperatures hit 40 degrees

Leonardo Donno, of the 5-Star Movement (centre top), is protected by other politicians during the brawl in the lower house of Italy's Parliament

Fight erupts in Italian Parliament amid tension over expanding regional autonomy