Russia may ‘never come out’ of Putin’s dark forest, ex-NATO commander says

Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis warned on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was leading his country “into a dark forest from which it may never emerge”.

Stavridis, a former US Navy admiral, retweeted a video from a New Year’s Eve special broadcast on Russian state television. The clip shows a singer performing alongside several dancers dressed in colorful clothing, with the camera occasionally cutting out the audience where Russian servicemen are seen clapping to the beat.

Stavridis then compared the video with other New Year celebrations taking place around the world.

“A sad contrast for thousands around the world, from fireworks in Sydney Harbor to crystal balls falling in Times Square celebrating a new year with true joy,” he wrote. “Putin continues to lead Russia into a dark forest from which it may never emerge.”

On New Year’s Eve, Ukraine was hit by a Russian missile strike that reportedly killed at least four people in Kyiv, according to France 24.

Meanwhile, Newsweek reported on Sunday that former Russian military commander Igor Girkin attributed Ukraine’s recent successes against Russian troops to Kremlin negligence.

Putin’s forces have suffered embarrassing defeats since the Russian leader launched his invasion of the Eastern European country last February. The Russian-Ukrainian war drew scathing condemnation from various international leaders from the start.

In the past, Stavridis has also criticized both Russia’s strategy and the “poor design” of its military equipment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured during a meeting in Saint Petersburg on December 27, 2022; A screenshot from a New Year’s special on Russian state television. The event received backlash from many critics, including a former NATO commander.
ALEXEY DANICHEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images; Screenshot

On Sunday, he retweeted a message from Julia Davis, a columnist for The Daily Beast who also created the monitoring project, Russian Media Monitor.

“New Year’s Eve special on Russian state television was spooky and surreal,” Davis tweeted, along with the video from the Russian New Year’s special. “Top pro-Kremlin propagandists sat alongside military guests, whose presence would be sure to remind the public that right now Russia is bombing Ukrainian towns and slaughtering civilians nearby.”

Rather than targeting infrastructure, Saturday’s “massive missile attacks” deliberately targeted residential areas, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. He tweeted on Saturday morning that Putin was “celebrating” the start of 2023 “by killing people”.

A resident of Kyiv said Newsweek that after hearing blaring air raid sirens, she feared she would be killed.

“It was very loud and scary,” said Daryna Antoniuk. “The explosions started before I reached the bomb shelter. I started running. Then it turned out that the missiles hit very close to my house.”

Despite the ongoing attacks, many Ukrainians gathered at a train station in Kyiv on Saturday, according to Euromaidan Press. They were reportedly there to attend a New Year’s concert and were filmed singing their country’s national anthem.

Newsweek contacted Stavridis for additional comment.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button