A new video of an allegedly “drunk” Vladimir Putin admitting to ongoing strikes on Ukraine has gone viral, with many people viewing the footage as a sign Russia is losing the war.
Swaying from side to side, the Russian President, who is renowned for not drinking alcohol, holds a full champagne flute while he speaks in front of a camera at a military awards ceremony at the Kremlin on Thursday.
“There’s a lot of noise right now about our strikes against the energy infrastructure of the neighbouring country,” he says. “Yes, we are doing it, but who started it? Who struck the Crimean bridge? Who blew up the power lines of the Kursk Nuclear Power Station? Who is not providing water to Donetsk.”
The clip ends with a chilling warning from President Putin. “Just as we make a move, do something in response, noise and crackle start for the whole universe,” he said referring to Russia’s repeated attacks. “This will not prevent us from completing military objectives.”
Posted to Twitter by an Estonian user named Dmitri, who says he’s archiving war in Ukraine, the footage has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.
“Drunk Putin explains why strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure will continue because “they started first by attacking the Crimean bridge,” he wrote alongside the video.
‘Plastered’ Putin coming to the end of his road
The footage has blown up on Twitter since it was uploaded on Friday morning.
“This is the first time that I have seen Putin seeming drunk in any context,” wrote Anders Aslund, an economist who served as an advisor to the Russian and Ukrainian governments in the 90s. “He talks nonsense as usual but he seems to realise that he is a loser. Very interesting and promising. All Russians will see that he is drunk and weak.”
“Very strange to see Putin drunk in public,” CBC reporter Evan Dyer said. “Being sober in a hard-drinking country is central to his public image. A big part of his appeal, especially to long-suffering Russian women. But no doubt, he’s plastered here.”
While others on Twitter said the incident showed that “things must be going very wrong in Ukraine.”
“He is coming to the end of the road,” one person wrote. “Hell will be his last stop.”
“He’s trying to convince the world that Russia is the victim,” another said. “[The video will] definitely be useful as the war crimes tribunal evidence,” someone else added. “Admission of guilt. Putin, the Hague is waiting for you.”
Russia accused of illegal phosphorus attack on Ukraine
Meanwhile fresh footage has been released of a Russian attack in Ukraine's Donetsk region, prompting the Ukrainian Government to declare that “all hell has broken loose over Avdiyivka".
In the video, posted to Twitter by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, a multitude of flames can be seen falling from the sky while the ground below burns. Many on social media claim that it’s the result of a white phosphorus bomb and using it is a war crime.
“It will burn everything,” one person wrote. “Only bunkers underground can help to wait out for the phosphorus to burn off.”
“Russia knows that it is losing and the Russian military is sinking to lower levels in an attempt to break the Ukrainian spirit,” another user said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.