Vladimir Putin’s chief propagandist Margarita Simonyan appeared to lose it as she hit back at complaints from fellow pundits about Russia’s military failure in Ukraine. Ms Simonyan is the editor-in-chief of RT, Russia’s state-controlled news organisation, and a high-ranking ally of President Putin. Speaking on Vladimir Solovyov’s popular propaganda programme on Russia-1, Ms Simonyan struggled to explain “why we haven’t won yet”.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has entered its 53rd day and its forces have struggled to make any significant breakthrough in the country.
Julia Davis, from Daily Beast, tweeted a clip of Ms Simonyan’s response “when one pundit on Russian state TV tries to ask why it’s taking so long for Russia to win in Ukraine”.
Ms Davis tweeted: “Head of RT Margarita Simonyan nearly pecks his head off, as she argues that Russia is fighting NATO in Ukraine. He quickly backs down: ‘I didn’t complain!'”
The head of RT blamed NATO for scuppering Russia’s plan to seize Ukraine.
In a marked departure from the Russian narrative that the invasion is a “special military operation,” Ms Simonyan told state TV viewers that Russia is “waging war against NATO”.
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She says: “We’re fighting a huge, armed enemy. Maybe it’s not that simple for Russia to fight all of NATO over there.
“There must be objective reasons as to why we haven’t won yet.
“We should be helping our army and our commander-in-chief to win instead of complaining that they’re yet to win in so-and-so days.”
The pundit, who she accuses of complaining, quickly backs down, responding: “I didn’t complain, I didn’t complain.”
She said that the loss of the warship Moskva is being blamed on NATO, not Ukraine.
Ms Davis tweeted: “Hosts or military experts on state TV bemoan the loss and claim they’re fighting not against Ukraine, but ‘against their equals’ – ‘the Joint Staff of NATO’.”
This comes as another Russian general is reported dead, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
The deputy commander of the 8th army of Russia’s armed forces, Vladimir Petrovich Frolov, died in the war in Ukraine.
The death is the latest of several Russian generals and high-ranking military personnel to have lost their lives in the war.