Putin reeling as OWN officials scramble to topple dictator

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The group is rebelling against their leader for the invasion, which he still calls a “special military operation”, as it has left thousands of Russian soldiers dead and has battered the country’s economy. The officials, who are based in a municipality in Putin’s hometown of St Petersburg, have directly appealed to the State Duma (Russian Parliament) in a written proposal in which they claim Putin has committed “high treason”.

Nikita Yuferev, an official from the Council of the Smolninskoye Municipal District, said: “We have listed the reasons why we believe that this is high treason.”

He continued in a tweet: “His decision to start the Special Military Operation led to 1) deaths of the Russian servicemen, 2) problems in the Russian economy, 3) the expansion of NATO (the border with NATO has doubled!”

Mr Yuferev went on:” “Ukraine is militarizing and has received $38 billion (£33billion) worth of weapons to fight Russia.

“All these are the consequences of the decision to start the Special Military Operation.

“Putin’s actions pose a threat to Russia’s security. He should be fired! Adopted at a meeting of the Municipal Council of Smolninskoye.”

The officials are aware that their demand is unlikely to be accepted in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.

They are still pressing ahead with the demand, which has been pushed through by 10 councillors who attended out of 20. The voting was seven for with three abstentions.

Mr Yuferev said: ‘It is very important to show that there are people who do not agree (with the war).

“We are in Russia, and there are quite a significant number of us.”

And the officials are not the only countrymen to have lost faith in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Far-right Russian nationalist blogger Igor Girkin has also lashed out the military failures of the nation.

He said in a video address to his 430,000 followers on Telegram on Monday: “We have already lost, the rest is just a matter of time.”

Mr Girkin, who also became a commander of the pro-Russian separatist forces in 2014, is just one of several far-right nationalists venting his frustrations online as Russia’s invasion has not appeared to go as they hoped.

But Putin has disputed this, and claimed in a speech on Wednesday that Russia had “lost nothing” in the war which he argues is most certainly going to plan.

But figures indicate that Putin’s army has reportedly seen heavy losses on the battlefield in Ukraine over the course of the last six months since the troops first invaded on February 24.

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The latest figures indicate that over 50,000 soldiers have died so far, according to the Ukrainian military.

And Ukraine’s army has also reportedly made major breakthroughs in its ongoing counteroffensive outside the southern city of Kherson.

According to US military adviser Dr John Callahan of New England College, Putin’s offensive is merely “serving up more Russians to be slaughtered”.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces also recently launched a surprise offensive in the northeast near Kharkiv, advancing 50km into Russian-held territory and liberating more than 20 villages, according to one of the army’s generals.

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