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Putin fumes in his mountain ‘lair’ as Ukraine proves hard to conquer

Russian President Vladimir Putin is “furious” that his invasion of Ukraine hasn’t been “easy” after Russian troops have been unable to take even one major city in three days of fighting, according to a member of the European Union Parliament who said he was citing Ukrainian intelligence reports.

“Putin is furious, he thought that the whole war would be easy and everything would be done in 1-4 days,” tweeted Riho Terras, who is also the former defense chief of NATO member Estonia, said in a lengthy thread on Twitter.

“The Russians are in shock of the fierce resistance they have encountered,” Terras said. He claimed the report shows they don’t have a “tactical plan” to take a Ukraine that is fighting back, stating that the entire invasion plan relied on “sowing panic among civilians and armed forces and forcing [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky to flee.”

Terras posted an image of what appeared to be an intelligence report written in Russian that said, “Putin is raging. He was sure it would be a cake walk.”

US Defense officials also said Saturday that Russian forces are growing increasingly frustrated by the strength of the Ukrainian resistance. Ordinary civilians have joined with Ukrainian forces, making Molotov cocktails, blocking roads and even shooting at the tires of Russian vehicles to impede their progress.


Get the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with the Post’s live coverage.


Terras, citing the intelligence report, said the Russian military has enough rockets only for three or four days, and with the new sanctions imposed will not be able to replace their depleted weapons. “There are not enough weapons,” the intel report said in two different spots.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly grown frantic by his military’s failure to control Ukraine.
Alexei NikolskyTASS via Getty Images

“If Ukraine manages to hold the Russians off for 10 days, then the Russians will have to enter negotiations,” Terras wrote, noting that the war is costing $20 billion a day. “Because they have no money, weapons, or resources.”

According to Terras, Putin was holed up in his “lair in the Urals,” and brought Russian oligarchs with him so they couldn’t flee the country.

The frustration for Russian troops on the ground could be seen as Ukrainians delighted Saturday in mocking them to their faces, and posting videos of it online.

Russian forces have meant stiff resistance by Ukrainian soldiers in the Lugansk region.
Russian forces have meant stiff resistance by Ukrainian soldiers in the Lugansk region.
STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images

This included images of destroyed Russian tanks in the northern part of the country, some appearing to show that the military equipment was in bad condition even before the fighting started.

One viral clip showed Ukrainians mocking Russian soldiers stuck on the side of the road outside Kyiv next to tanks that ran out of gas. “Can I tow you back to Russia?” a Ukrainian man in the video offered.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday shared an image of Russian soldiers captured invading the country and urged their families to “take your men home.”

Russian forces torpedoed rockets into residential buildings in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Feb. 26, 2022.
Russian forces torpedoed rockets into residential buildings in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Feb. 26, 2022.
AFP via Getty Images

“Mothers, wives, daughters of Russian soldiers! Take your men home,” Kuleba wrote in a translated tweet.

“They came to a foreign land to kill innocent people, to destroy our homes. Your power is lying. The people of Ukraine meet them with weapons, not flowers. Demand from the authorities to stop the war of conquest, save your loved ones!”

Social media services, including Facebook and Twitter, were blocked or had restricted access inside Russia. Reporters inside the country said Twitter was slow and they had difficult sending news posts. Social media companies including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta and Twitter said they would block Russian state media from advertising and would limit recommendations to posts from their channels.

Russian forces have occupied Chernobyl and its nuclear power plants in Ukraine.
Russian forces have occupied Chernobyl and its nuclear power plants in Ukraine.
Russian Defence Ministry/TASS via Getty Images

Separately, RIA news agency said the country may seize funds of foreigners and foreign companies inside Russia in retaliation for sanctions and seizures by the US and allies against Russia and individual Russians, including Putin and his foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov.

The US and allies have threatened to take the sanctions further and kick Russia out of the major system for global financial transactions, called SWIFT, a move that would further hamper Russia’s economy.

Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, also said Moscow does not rule out nationalizing the assets of companies registered in the United States, European Union and other “unfriendly jurisdictions.”

A map showcasing the Russian military’s latest attacks on Ukrainian cities.
Russian President Vladimir Putin anticipated Ukraine would be occupied in a few days, according to former Estonian defense chief Riho Terras.
NY Post Illustration

Medvedev also threatened that Moscow could restore the death penalty after a quarter-century because Russia was removed from Europe’s top human rights organization.

“We are being driven out of everywhere, punished and threatened, but we don’t feel scared,” Medvedev said in a post on a Russian social media site, mocking the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies as an attempt to vindicate their past “shameful decisions, like a cowardly retreat from Afghanistan.”

He also threatened that Russia could pull out of a nuclear arms control treaty with the US signed in 2010 that sets strict limits on both country’s arsenals, and even to cut diplomatic ties with Western countries.

“There is no particular need in maintaining diplomatic relations,” Medvedev said. “We may look at each other in binoculars and gunsights.”

Russia’s state communications watchdog also issued warnings to independent media outlets that they will face closure if they distribute information about the fighting that deviates from the official line.

Additional reporting by Callie Patteson



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