Putin gets ‘tepid’ response when discussing Ukraine war, as officials do ‘utmost’ to avoid

Ukraine: Britons discuss their thoughts on the UK's involvement

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The Russian leader today addressed the annual Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in what was dubbed an “extremely important speech”. A cyberattack pushed the speech back by an hour, according to the Kremlin, but this was not to be the President’s only setback.

Putin’s attempts to rally the audience behind Russian war efforts in Ukraine were met with a cool response, claimed Max Seddon of the Financial Times.

He translated the President describing the war as “the decision of a sovereign country based on the right to defend its security”.

Putin also vowed that “all of [the war’s] tasks will undoubtedly be met”.

Perhaps most notably, Mr Seddon, said on Twitter, the response to those declarations was “tepid”.

He added that “most of [Putin’s] officials at the forum did their utmost not to touch” the subject of the war.

Insider reports suggest more and more Russian leaders are becoming dismayed by the “special military operation”.

In April, Bloomberg, citing Kremlin officials, said the invasion was increasingly being viewed as a “catastrophic mistake”.

Among the concerns of those who have spoken out – albeit under the security of anonymity – was the idea the war will “set the country back for years”.

READ MORE: Britons on the street debate UK’s involvement in Ukraine war

Western leaders have echoed this view, with UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace suggesting Russia will now be more isolated from the world “for decades to come”.

Those who contacted Bloomberg stressed, however, that they feel unable to raise these matters with Putin himself.

They said they feel they have “no chance” of changing his mind.

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At the time this report was unveiled, journalist Mark Galeotti noted that it was not just Kremlin insiders and, indeed, business leaders who were anxious about the impact of the war in Ukraine.

He wrote in a post on Twitter: “Even within the security structures, there’s growing alarm and dismay at the invasion, the way it was mishandled, and Putin’s apparent refusal to appreciate the long-term dangers.”

As Putin wrapped up his speech, Boris Johnson arrived in Kyiv to meet Volodymyr Zelensky for the second time since the invasion was launched.

Number 10 said the Prime Minister offered to launch a “major training operation for Ukrainian forces”.

This, it said, could train up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days.

Mr Johnson added that the UK would stand by Ukraine’s side “until you ultimately prevail”.

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