The Russian economy is on the verge of collapsing after war spending.
EKO HOT BLOG reports that Vladimir Putin is facing a crisis of support within his inner circle as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has drained Kremlin funds.
President Putin initially outlined plans to swiftly seize Kyiv and annex the entirety of Ukraine within weeks, but nine months later Russian troops have lost thousands of kilometres of occupied territory.
Sergiy Petukhov, the former deputy minister of justice in Ukraine, asserted the conflict had entered a “crucial” period that is certain to test Putin’s domestic allies.
The UK Ministry of Defence has already warned of critically low morale across Moscow’s military forces. Within Russia itself, the population has faced dire economic pressure after a flood of Western sanctions were imposed in response to President Putin’s invasion.
Independent analysis from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has indicated Russia’s GDP is expected to drop by at least 3.4 percent by the end of 2022.
Data suggested Russia’s economy will continue to shrink throughout 2023, with the GDP forecast to decline year on year by up to 4.5 percent.
The former Ukrainian minister indicated domestic tensions could heighten over the winter period, as Kremlin funds continue to be poured into the military, diverting money from crucial public services.
In a bid to devastate Ukrainian morale, Russia has renewed missile attacks on civil infrastructure over recent weeks, specially targeting the electrical grid to trigger widespread blackouts.
The bombing has left thousands of civilians without power, but Sergiy Petukhov reported the Ukrainian resolve to continue fighting against Russian occupation remained strong.
He told Times Radio: “The Kremlin hopes that the Ukrainians will turn the rage against their own government.
“What is happening is that Ukrainians are more and more angry with the Russians who are putting this unnecessary damage on the civilian population.”
Referencing the attacks on the electrical grid, Petukhov said: “The main point of this is to bring down the morale of the Ukrainians and force them into accepting some sort of armistice with the Russians to regroup their forces and regain their power.
“This has not happened so far. Ukrainians, again, have shown quite amazing resilience.”
President Zelensky has already announced the rollout of “Points of Invincibility” across Ukraine.
The centres will offer refuge for civilians affected by the Russian airstrikes.
Ukrainian authorities have confirmed close to 1,000 such centres have been established across Ukraine since the scheme was launched in mid-November, allowing civilians to access heating, electricity and communications despite power outages.
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